The Shire of Esperance aim to reduce landfill waste by 20 per cent by 2020, after Council voted to adopt a new Community Waste Strategy on Tuesday, February 27.
The new strategy’s targets would see the Shire increase the amount of municipal solid waste diverted from landfill triple, from 10 per cent to 30 per cent.
Currently, the shire deposit around 20,000 tonnes of waste into landfill per annum, a number the shire’s chief executive officer Matthew Scott said he would like to see reduced.
“Landfill is probably the most expensive way of dealing with waste and, if we can get the community behind reducing our region’s waste footprint, there will be less in landfill and it will be good for everyone.”
Although the strategy would be challenging to implement, Mr Scott said meeting the targets would require a combined effort.
“The targets that are set in the waste strategy mirror the state targets and those targets are, from a state perspective, really focused on councils in the metropolitan area but we’re happy to try and put a challenge out there to our community,” he said.
“Every little bit counts.”
Shire president Victoria Brown said Council were working to move organics out of the landfill, which would result in a significant reduction in what would otherwise be going to the facility.
“It will be about educating the public and trying to get people to stop buying vegetables wrapped in polystyrene and plastic from our supermarket shelves,” she said.
“Until members of the public stop buying them, supermarket chains are just going to continue as they are and that’s why we believe it is very important that we start educating.
“Generally speaking, most people think that once it’s in the bin and it has been wheeled to the curbside they don’t have to worry about it.
“That will be the biggest challenge, getting people to stop and think before they put anything in the bin.”
Mr Scott said the strategy’s action plan involved community education and waste workshops, much like the Waste Revolution workshop held in August of 2017.
“The workshop we held last year was really well attended and there were some great ideas,” he said.
“Council have accepted a tender to develop a business plan to progress that.
“The formation of a working group will provide a forum for people to come with ideas and put them on the table and discuss whether the idea could be trialled.”