Page 5947 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 8 December 2010

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outcomes. They identify how energy from waste technologies could potentially be utilised and they identify the relative cost-benefit analysis of a third bin versus a processing facility to recover waste through what is known as a dirty materials recovery facility. These are all now questions that Canberrans need to have their say on. They need to give us their feedback on how we are going to achieve the significant reductions that we believe are possible in reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Canberrans are interested in this policy. I encourage them to have their say.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a supplementary question?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Would the minister advise the Assembly what are the key goals outlined in the draft waste strategy?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. At the moment around 200,000 tonnes of waste per annum are still going to landfill and we need to reduce that. Around 30 per cent of that waste, or about 60,000 tonnes, comes from Canberra’s households, and that is after the recycling effort that Canberrans have demonstrated such a great level of commitment to. A lot of that household waste is organic waste; it is food waste, it is the so-called wet wastes that come out of households. There are real opportunities to capture and re-use that waste, and the draft strategy outlines a range of ways in which that can occur.

There is also a very significant amount of waste that comes from the commercial sector; indeed, it is the largest part of that 200,000 tonnes that currently goes to landfill, or about 98,000 tonnes of rubbish from the commercial sector. Again, about one-third of this waste is materials that can be recycled, such as plastics, metals and glass, and another 15 per cent of that waste stream is, again, organic waste.

For these reasons the draft strategy focuses on capturing those wastes from the commercial waste sector and also capturing the organic wastes from households. If we are able to achieve that, the reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill would be about half of the current amount of waste going to landfill. That is a very significant improvement and that is why it is so important that Canberrans have their say on this new strategy.

What is also important is to highlight that for that smaller percentage of waste that cannot be recovered or reused there are opportunities to utilise that waste for energy generation, to utilise that waste for synthetic fuel generation, and these are opportunities that are also explored in the new waste strategy.

MR COE: A supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: What base year will the 85 and 90 per cent targets be worked off? And given that waste per capita in the ACT is currently increasing, does this mean that the current waste policy is a monumental failure?

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