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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 31 March 2011) . . Page.. 1223 ..


material being saved from landfill each year. While the recycling trends are good, the amount of waste to landfill increased slightly between 2006-07 and 2007-08.

With the significant progress in reducing domestic waste to landfill and resource recovery from the construction and demolition waste sectors, the greatest gains in the future are likely to be made in the commercial sector. The ACT government is supporting further initiatives for the commercial sector to ensure a higher recovery rate of source-separated materials.

For example, the ACT government’s ACTSmart business and office programs support ACT organisations to effectively manage their waste. Participants audit their waste streams and put in place measures to facilitate waste recovery. By the end of last year 138 offices and 87 businesses had signed up to the programs. Of these 225 organisations, 32 have achieved accreditation; that is, they have achieved a reduction of waste to landfill by implementing full recycling, including mixed recyclables, paper and cardboard and organic recycling, as well as undertaking staff training and awareness raising with staff and customers.

The accredited sites have all achieved a reduction of waste to landfill, some by more than 70 to 80 per cent, and reduced waste to landfill by more than 125,000 litres a week since the program commenced in August 2009. In real terms, this equates to more than 900 domestic wheelie bins being diverted from landfill per week.

Even one-off events provide enormous opportunities for reducing waste to landfill. At the final Canberra Raiders game at Canberra Stadium last year, 88 per cent of the waste generated at the game was recycled, the equivalent of seven 15-cubic-metre skips or 4,375 yellow-top wheelie bins.

The ACTSmart public event trial is soon to commence. The trial will provide the opportunity for event organisers to implement effective waste management practices throughout their event. Temporary two-bin systems comprising waste to landfill and recycling are stationed throughout each event, with appropriate signage. Back-of-shop locations will include a three-bin system comprising waste to landfill, recycling and organics.

Commercial waste represents almost half the material sent to landfill in the ACT and amounted to more than 103,000 tonnes in 2009-10. A large proportion of this could have been recycled. The recently released report, produced for the ACT government by Inovact Consulting, surveyed 400 commercial businesses about their recycling practices and ways to improve commercial sector recycling.

The report recommended a focus on development of improved downstream waste management and treatment systems as the most effective means of further reducing waste to landfill from ACT business. I am pleased to report that the report also notes that ACT government initiatives such as the ACTSmart business and office programs are helping ACT businesses make significant inroads into the waste sent to landfill, but we know there is still work to be done to make it easier for commercial waste generators to recycle. The information gathered from this comprehensive industry


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