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.
MRA believes there are huge jobs, resource and carbon opportunities in recycling and waste management.
In its submission to the Inquiry into Australia’s Waste Management and Recycling Industries, MRA has identified some of the key requirements for capturing these opportunities.
For every job in landfill we create 3 jobs in recycling. For every 10,000t of waste we landfill we generate 3 landfill jobs vs 9.2 recycling jobs. Mike Ritchie explains how recycling can help grow regional jobs.
The Australian Commonwealth has achieved a first. A Minister for Waste (and Environmental Management) was announced by the Morrison Government. In the 200 years since colonial settlement we have not had a Minister with Waste in their title. I hope that ushers in a period of attention and reform.
Following up on his earlier Circular Economy article, Mike Ritchie reviews the European Union Circular Economy Action Plan report of 54 actions and adjusts those actions to propose an equivalent action list for Australia.
A circular economy is necessary to minimise landfill, increase resources recovery and protect our natural environment. A strong local reprocessing sector will also generate new jobs, support the economy and safeguard Australia from international developments such as China's National Sword. Mike Ritchie outlines the key drivers for a strong Circular Economy in Australia.
Mike Ritchie attended the 2019 Australian Landfills and Transfer Stations Conference and delivered a presentation on how differences in legislation, targets and data between states is hindering resource recovery in Australia.