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Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme

Funding Extension - 31 March 2010

The Waste Authority advises that the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme (ZWPDS) is coming to a successful conclusion, with 34 SWMPs from 23 groupings and 11 individual local governments submitted to DEC for assessment prior to the September 2009 deadline. A further regional grouping and an individual local government sought additional extensions from the Authority, citing exceptional circumstances preventing the finalisation of their SWMPs.

The Authority has extended the deadline for funding expenditure until 31 March 2010, when it is anticipated that the ZWPDS will be completed and all funds disbursed.

The Waste Authority is keen to understand the value of the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme and Regional Funding Program, and through DEC has engaged GHD Pty Ltd to undertake an independent review of the programs.

A major component of the review is to gain frank comment from participating local governments as to the value of the programs and any ideas you may have to improve delivery of Authority programs to local governments in the future. The review will be presented to the April meeting of the Authority.

Dr Dick van Beers, Project Manager for GHD will be contacting lead councils from groupings and individual local governments by email during the next couple of weeks with a short, targeted survey. He will also be seeking one-on-one interviews with a number of group representatives and individual local government contacts.

With 2010-2011 and future funding in mind, outcomes, including recommendations from the review will be seriously considered by the Authority.

Phase Two Of Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme

The second phase of the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme (ZWPDS) has commenced. Phase One of the ZWPDS involved online data collection from Local Government. The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has analsed the information received from Phase One. The results of this will be used to provide suggestions to Local Government on possible ways to improve waste management services in their area.

Extension Of Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme Due Dates

The Municipal Waste Advisory Council sent correspondence to the Minister for the Environment in November 2007 requesting an
extension of due dates for the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme. A response has been received indicating that the Minister has approved the extension of due dates. The new due dates are:

  • Phase Two - 30 September 2008

Zero Waste Plan Workshops

The WA Local Government Association and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) held a series of Workshops on Strategic Waste Management Plans - specifically the how, what and why of Strategic Waste Management Plan development. The workshops were held: City of Geraldton-Greenough; Town of Narrogin; Shire of Busselton; Shire of Gingin; Shire of Wagin; City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder; and City of Albany in late 2007 and early 2008.

Change Of Terminology

In July 2007, the Waste Management Board discontinued the use of Zero Waste - Live the Vision in favour of new branding Towards Zero Waste. As a consequence, the term Zero Waste Plan as was originally attributed to plans made under the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme, has been changed. Plans developed under the Phase Two of the Scheme will now be referred to as Strategic Waste Management Plans (SWMP). The Scheme will still be referred to as the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme but the actual plans will now be Strategic Waste Management Plans.

Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme Discussion Paper

A working group, including officers from Local Government and Regional Local Governments, MWAC Staff and members of the DEC have been working together to give shape to the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme. The outcome of the collaboration is a draft document which which has been sent to all Local Governments.

The draft document:

  • shows, at a broad level, the structure and type of information likely to be included in a Strategic Waste Management Plan; and
  • a general timeline for implementation.

Strategic Waste Management Plans are intended to ensure a consistent and rigorous approach to waste management throughout the State. The plans will provide a tool to the DEC, Waste Management Board (Board) and Minister when assessing applications for waste management funding and deciding strategic direction for the State. The plans are also intended to be useful planning tools for Local Government. However, they do not commit Local Government to undertake all of the actions outlined in them. Local Government should recently have received communication from the Minister for the Environment; Climate Change; Peel introducing the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme.

Funding Implications

It has been foreshadowed that if a Local Government does not have a Strategic Waste Management Plan (SWMP) (either individually or as part of a grouping), they may be unable to access Strategic Waste Initiative Scheme (SWIS), and any other schemes which are introduced.

For a limited period, funds are available from the Waste Management and Recycling Account for Local Government to assist with the preparation of SWMPs, enabling potential access to additional funds in the future. Local Governments must complete Phase One and Two of the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme in order to access the funding being offered under this scheme.

It should be noted that the funding under the Zero Waste Plan Development Scheme is for the development of Local Government Strategic Waste Management Plans, not their implementation. There are no guarantees of financial resourcing for the implementation of the plans. Therefore, Local Governments need to ensure that SWMPs contain actions and strategies that can be self-funded or implemented with minimal external input. How the plans can include this information is explored in Section 4.4.

The initial focus of all plans should be to improve the efficiencies of existing services and facilities which will minimise the need for major upfront capital costs.