Australians want to take care of the environment. We have set a national resource recovery target of 80% by 2030. How do we achieve these goals?
Well, we cannot go wrong with a nationwide landfill levy.
MRA has turned 10. A big thank you to all of our clients, friends and colleagues for supporting MRA over these first ten years. We couldn't have done it without you.
To mark the occasion, Mike Ritchie looks back on the key points of waste reform, highlighting our successes and identifying key targets for the future.
Waste is ‘waste’ by definition of the fact it is discarded. The generator has to pay someone to get rid of it.
Ιt will only become a ‘resource’ when it is separated, sorted, cleaned-up and is available as an input to another process.
Landfill levies may be blunt instruments but they have also shown their effectiveness in Australia.
Waste generators have a binary decision to make. Recycle or landfill. More often than not, it comes down to price.
To meet our 80% diversion from landfill target, we need to make the answer to that question simple and ever present.
Waste is like a river that flows downhill to the cheapest price. Landfills are like big vacuum cleaners - they suck up waste and resources indiscriminately. If we continue to supply cheaply priced landfills, then that is where our waste will go.
There will always be a place for well-run landfills. But if we want to create a circular economy, then the first and most obvious thing we need to do, is stop the one-way flow into landfills.
The 2020-21 budget is out and for the first time, the Commonwealth identified the waste sector as one of the 6 (yes 6 only) sectors for focussed job creation.
MRA's Mike Ritchie reviewed the budget noting some important points.
It is more than two years since China National Sword and the limitations on export to Asian recycling nations, kicked in.
Recycling has not collapsed but it has taken some pretty big hits. So where are we up to now?
The waste and recycling industry contributes close to 3% of Australia’s direct emissions. However, recycling abates much more by capturing the embodied energy of the recovered materials.
We can create a more sustainable Australia by reducing emissions, increasing recycling and growing new green jobs.