The Western Australian State Government will provide $400,000 in funding to 12 metropolitan waste depots and regional councils in an effort to improve collection and recycling of electronic waste.
Six waste depots - Red Hill Waste Management Facility, City of Stirling Recycling Centre (Balcatta), Armadale Landfill and Recycling Facility, Henderson Waste Recovery Park, Tamala Park Recycling Centre and the JFR McGeough Resource Recovery Facility (Brockway) - will share the $400,000 with six regional councils in order to boost collection of e-waste over the next three years. The councils are: Albany, Geraldton-Greenough, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Mandurah, Bunbury and the Avon Regional Organisation of Councils.
The funding, which is derived from the government's Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account, is focussed on collecting analogue televisions in anticipation of the progressive transition to digital transmissions, as well as increasingly discarded computers in the state. An estimated 360,000 analogue televisions and 180,000 computers will head to dumps in Western Australia within the next three years.
State environment minister, Donna Faragher, said in a statement that the funding was in anticipation of a national strategy to be decided on by state and federal environment ministers by 2013. Such a strategy was first flagged last year, with a vision to full implementation sometime this year. However, since environment minister Peter Garrett first announced the plan in November, the target date has slipped back to the 2013 date.
A national strategy is expected to set a goal to recycle 80 per cent of all televisions and computers by 2021.
While a national strategy is negotiated between ministers, Faragher said the Western Australian government would establish "a new committee of the Waste Authority [to] consider and recommend other options for a broader strategy for dealing with e-waste".
This includes three e-waste recycling programs with $192,767 in State Government funding in addition to the shared funding provided to the 12 councils and waste depots.
“It is essential that we increase the amount of material being recycled and reused, and improve the way we manage waste,” Faragher said.
A potential additional $400,000 funding is available for eligible councils, waste depots and organisations for recycling e-waste as part of the government's Strategic Waste Initiatives Scheme, with further rounds of grants to be announced later in the year.