Rubbish bins

WA Based Product Stewardship

MWAC Position Paper To The Waste Authority: October 2008

In October 2008, the Municipal Waste Advisory Council endorsed a Position Paper on Priority Products for Product Stewardship/Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Schemes. The Position Paper is a summary of results taken from the Local Government problematic waste survey, the WALGA Extended Producer Responsibility Policy Statement and the findings of the Household Hazardous Waste Program.

The Position Paper contains three main recommendations:

  1. That e-waste is classified as the number one priority EPR/Product Stewardship Scheme – focus needs to be placed on establishing an effective e-waste recovery and recycling scheme. Results from a survey of local government indicated e-waste one of the top three priorities; with most Local Governments stating this waste was a costly and hazardous material to store and recycle.
  2. If Federal action is not forthcoming then Tyres and Used Motor Oil be the next priority for EPR/Product Stewardship Schemes – although there are current Federal arrangements in place, or proposed, local government raises these two material types as a priority.
  3. Commencement of a Container Deposit System should become a priority – Local Government has reiterated its conditional support for the implementation of a CDS. A CDS has the potential to increase resource recovery, decrease littering, achieve a more appropriate sharing of waste management costs and increase community awareness of waste management.

WA State Government EPR Policy: June 2005

In Western Australia, Product Stewardship has been discussed for several years without any serious efforts to adopt EPR style policy approaches. Following a period of consultation and the release of a discussion paper in June 2005, the State Government adopted a formal policy on EPR as a policy approach to managing waste and resource consumption issues. In doing this, the Government cleared the way to include legislative head powers for EPR schemes in the long awaited Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Bill. To read the Department of Environment EPR Policy click here.

Discussion Paper

In late December 2004, the State Government released a Discussion Paper to guage views in the community about this controvertial policy approach. The Discussion Paper drew heavily on the NSW model for an EPR framework. Responses to the Discussion Paper showed substantial support for the principle and a general desire to get on with implementing EPR in this state. A Copy of the MWAC Submission is available here.