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Municipal Solid Waste Management For Sustainable Development


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									ISSN 1329-7759
RSWA Proceedings                                                                                   JUNE 2004
This publication should be catalogued under "Proceedings of the Royal Society of Western Australia"

                                              General Meeting
                                      8:00pm, Monday 21st June 2004
                            Royal Society of Western Australia Ordinary Meeting
                                    Kings Park Administration Building
                                        Off Fraser Ave., Kings Park

       Municipal Solid Waste Management For Sustainable Development:
                       Principles and Policy Instruments

                                             Dr. R. Sathiendrakumar
  Senior Lecturer in Economics and program leader in Economics with the Centre for
             Organic Waste Management (COWM), Murdoch University.

                                            The presentation by Dr Sathiendrakumar is the third and
                                  final talk on the theme of waste management. In his talk, Dr
                                  Sathiendrakumar. will demonstrate how waste reduction is consistent
                                  with the principle of sustainable development. Currently, there are
                                  two basic problems with the disposal of municipal solid waste. The
                                  first is that the opportunity cost of land used as landfills is not very
                                  low and is rising. The second is the NIMBY syndrome (not in my
                                  backyard). Even if the opportunity cost of landfill is small, the
                                  NIMBY syndrome will make the use of landfills an unattractive
                                  option due to the increased transportation cost. This presentation
                                  identifies various mixes of economic policy instruments that may be
                                  available to manage the disposal of municipal waste, and uses a
                                  ‘cubic’ model to evaluate these various policy instruments. Dr
                                  Sathiendrakumar then will illustrate how using a mix of policy
                                  instruments might bring about efficiency in waste minimisation .
         Dr. R. Sathiendrakumar is a Senior Lecturer in Economics and program leader in Economics
with the Centre for Organic Waste Management (COWM) at Murdoch University. He was the
recipient of the British Council Scholarship to undertake his Masters Degree in Economics at the
University of Manchester. He was also the recipient of the University of Newcastle PhD scholarship
to undertake his PhD research in Economics. His research interests are in Environmental Economics,
Resource Economics, Microeconomics and Tourism Economics. He has published widely in refereed
national and international Journals, and contributed chapters to some of the books written in his areas
of his research interest. He has held visiting fellowships at the National University of Singapore, the
University of Dundee, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Birmingham and the
University of South Pacific in Fiji.

                                       Members, guests and visitors welcome
This issue of the RSWA Proceedings was edited by Margaret Brocx rswa@iinet.net.au

           May Guest Speaker                               waste is poor, though a new web based waste
  Roles and Functions of the State Waste                   tracking system has been introduced, but it is
           Management Board                                inferred that the volume of waste produced is
               Noel Davies,                                dropping. The problem is that there is too little
Inaugural chair, Waste Management Board.                   hazardous waste to ensure proper management.
                                                           WA’s isolation also has contributed to it
At the Ordinary Meeting of the Royal Society               adopting self-reliancy to solving waste
of Western Australia on May 17th, with 12                  problems, developing some different policy
members and guest attending, Noel Davies,                  settings and administrative structures to other
presented a talk on the “Roles and Functions of            States, experiencing a greater difficulty in
the State Waste Management Board”. The                     developing solutions for the management of
presentation covered the background to Waste               hazardous and problematic wastes, being more
Management in WA, some detail on WA’s                      advanced in providing effective kerbside
Waste Streams, the roles and responsibility for            recycling collections (even though there has
Waste Management, presenting details of the                been very little reduction in organic waste to
new strategic policy positions being developed             landfill over the six years that reducing waste to
in a Strategic Plan for Waste Management in                landfill has been a priority), being further
WA (due for release in July/August 2004).                  advanced with the establishment of Secondary
                                                           Treatment Systems for municipal waste,
While waste management in WA was a first                   achieving a comparable standard of operation in
order social-political issue, its rating in relation       landfills, lagging other States in secondary
to its overall environmental impact is low. This           treatment of C&D waste, lagging in the
is because WA is unique in terms of waste                  maturity of policy and practice in relation to
management in that, although it comprises a                management hazardous waste, and being the
large land area, there is a heavy concentration            only State with an effective disposal site for
of population and waste in Perth (some 70%), it            intractable waste.
is remote from other population centres, and
has a small industrial base.

From a historical perspective, waste
management in WA has traditionally focused
on health rather than environment, and
controlled by Local Government rather than
private industry. Some milestones in waste
management are as follows: in 1998 the
Government introduced a levy on Waste; in
2000/2001 the then Liberal Government
commissioned WASTE 2020 (as a blue print to                Recent events and community-based issues
guide Waste Management Policy in the vision                associated with waste management include the
“Towards Zero Waste”; and in 2002 the Waste                Bellevue Fire, the Brookdale Treatment Plant. the
Management Board was established to                        Omex Site Cleanup, the Gosnells SWERF, the
implement recommendations of Waste 2020.                   Carmel Explosion, and the Alcoa/Worsley Multiple
                                                           chemical Sensitivity. The common thread here
In relation to Hazardous and Liquid Waste, WA              involves issues of toxicity, the hazardous nature of
has relatively small volumes of liquid waste,              the materials, fear related to health issues, and
small quantities of ‘hazardous waste’, and                 mistrust, and that the Government and/or proponent
much larger volumes of contaminated soils.                 currently are on the defensive.
However, the quality of data on hazardous

The responsibility for Waste Management in              resource recovery, and waste will be segregated
WA, lies with Department of Environment,                and sorted at source in a manner that optimises
with the newly formed Waste Management                  resource recovery. Other expected outcomes are
Board being responsible for advising the                that products will no longer contain hazardous
Minister on waste management policy,                    components (reducing the range of options
administering the Waste Management and                  available for recovery of resources from waste
Recycling Fund, and providing leadership and            streams), no waste streams will be directed for
direction to the Waste Management Industry.             final disposal without sorting and/or treatment
Local Government is responsible for both                to recover resources, a comprehensive and
delivery of waste management services and               diverse range of sustainable treatment facilities
regulation of waste collection under the Health         will exist to treat and recover resources
Act. It also plays a significant role in policy         wherever feasible from all waste streams
development. Industry tends to act as a                 (including Municipal, Commercial and
collector and disposer of waste. In this context,       industrial, Inert, Hazardous and Intractable),
the community needs to be informed about its            environmentally acceptable storage or disposal
consumption practices and accept that it is             facilities will store or dispose of all residual
ultimately equally responsible for the waste that       wastes that currently cannot be re-used or
produced. However, it was suggested that the            recycled, that the community be well informed
steps from here should also include re-                 in relation to waste management and has direct
establishing trust between Government,                  access to and involvement in waste
Community and Industry, agreeing on                     management regulation and policy, and that
Principles and Policy, developing and agreeing          there will be a comprehensive regulatory
on a Shared Strategic vision, and developing a          framework for waste management that is open
plan to achieve that vision. In this context, the       to the community and effective in ensuring the
Waste Management Board is developing a                  environment and health is safeguarded. The
Strategic Plan, developing a Business Plan and          implications for Industry are that those that
a 3C Program on Hazardous Waste, reviewing              produce large quantities of waste or hazardous
the Levy and Fund including Grant Scheme,               wastes will find it difficult to do so in the
revising the Waste Management Bill, and                 future, and there will be pressure on
developing a State Education Strategy. The              manufacturers to design for sustainability
Strategic Plan is to be released July/August this       (repair, reuse, recycle and avoidance of waste
year; this will outline the Board’s vision of           during manufacture).
Waste management in the Year 2020.
                                                        The recent draft Bill on Waste Management was
Strategic principles for Waster Management              described as being “merely a consolidation of
include, Waste Management Hierarchy,                    existing legislation”, and that in contrast the Waste
Industrial Ecology – Sustainability, Product            Management Board wanted a modern, coherent act
Life Cycle Management, and Environmental                with modern legislative Tools such as Extended
Justice. Some of the outcomes of the Strategic          Producer Responsibility, Product Stewardship,
Plan would be that manufacturing and other              powers to impose levies and product bans).
industrial processes will be operated in a
sustainable manner which minimises the                  The talk ended on discussion on future
quantity of wastes produced, products and               directions where Noel envisioned that Waste
services sold in WA will be designed and/or             Management in WA would be driven by an
packaged to minimize waste production and               emphasis on, treatment, and recycling, in
facilitate recovery or re-use of wastes that are        preference      to     disposal,    community
produced, residual waste streams that are               participation, educational programs, a reliance
produced will be continuously assessed and              on Product Stewardship, and intergenerational
analysed and actions taken to achieve enhanced          equity.
                                                        MSc, MA or PhD Graduate Abstracts
                                                        The RSNSW wishes to provide a medium for
                                                        the wider dissemination of the work performed
                                                        at the M.SC./M.A., and PhD. Levels. Therefore
                                                        the Council of the Society is willing to publish
                                                        such abstracts (maximum 500 words) on
                                                        application by the author or supervisor. From
The Edgeworth David Medal 2004                          the beginning of 2004, copies of Abstracts
Clarke Medal 2004                                       published in the Journal will be placed on the
Walter Burfitt Prize 2004                               RSNSW web site
MSc, MA or PhD Graduates Abstracts
                                                        For addition information on how to apply these
The Royal Society of New South Wales is                 awards:
calling for nominations for the following               Email info@nswroyalsoc.org.au
Awards, Prizes and Abstracts.                           Web page http://nsw.royalsoc.org.au

The Edgeworth David Medal is awarded for                RSWA Election of Office Bearers
distinguished contributions by a young                  The Constitution of the Royal Society of
scientist. The conditions of the Award are:             Western Australia makes provision for the
                                                        following positions on Council: President, two
   (a) the recipient must be under the age of           Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, three Secretaries,
       thirty-five years at 1st January 2004;           Librarian, Editor, Journal Manager, Immediate
   (b) the Award will be for work done                  Past President and seven Ordinary or Honorary
       mainly in Australia or its territories; or       members, a total of 18. Council in recent years
       contributing to the advancement of               has asked Council members to accept additional
       Australian Science.                              roles not specifically stated in the Constitution,
                                                        these are: Publicity Officer, Postgraduate
The Clarke Medal, established in memory of              Students Representative and Web-site Manager.
the Reverend William Branwhite Clarke, M.A.,            Sixteen existing Councillors have indicated that
FRS, FGS, Vice President of the RSNSW                   they will continue on Council, a few indicating
1866-1878, is considered of award annually for          they wish to change their roles (see below).
distinguished work in natural science done in,          Council is seeking at least two additional
or on, the Australian Commonwealth and its              members in 2004/05, and has in the past co-
Territories. This year’s ward is in the field of        opted others that have shown a willingness to
geology in all aspects, and nominations are             become involved.
called for the names of suitable persons who
have contributed significantly to the science of        Members can be elected to Council by being
geology.                                                nominated, seconded and signifying their
                                                        willingness to accept office if elected at an
The Walter Burfitt Prize is awarded at                  Ordinary General Meeting not less than one
intervals of three years to the worker in pure or       month before the AGM; or by lodging a written
applied science, resident in Australia or New           nomination, seconded and containing a
Zealand, whose papers and other contributions           statement indicating that the candidate will
published during the past six years are deemed          accept office if elected with the Returning
of the highest scientific merit, account being          Officer (Dr Phil. Withers), within seven days
taken only of investigations described for the          after the Ordinary or General Meeting that
first time, and carried out by the author mainly        precedes the AGM.
in these countries.

It is proposed that the following members will be nominated for Council at the June Ordinary General
Meeting. If you are interested in becoming a member of Council please submit a nomination as soon as

                                                                   Members proposing to stand for
Positions                       Members elected in 2003/04 for 2   the following positions on
                                years                              Council 2004/05
President                       Dr Graham Thompson                 Dr Alex Bevan
Senior Vice President           Dr Alex Bevan                      Dr Colin Walker
Junior Vice President                                              Dr Phil O’Brien
Immediate Past President        Dr Jamie O’Shea                    Dr Graham Thompson
Meeting Secretary               Dr Colin Walker
Proceedings Secretary           Ms Margaret Brocx                  Ms Margaret Brocx
Membership Secretary            Ms Marilyn Bennett-Chambers        Ms Marilyn Bennett-Chambers
Treasurer                       Dr Philip O’Brien                  Dr Phil O’Brien
Editor                          Prof. Philip Withers               Dr Kathy Meney
Journal Manager                 Dr Jamie O’Shea                    Dr Jamie O’Shea
Librarian                       Ms Margaret Triffitt               Ms Margaret Triffitt
Publicity Officer               Dr Vic Semeniuk                    Dr Vic Semeniuk
Postgraduate         Students   Mr Graham Fulton                   Mr Paul Drake
                                Mr Paul Drake                      Ms Leah Delfs
                                Ms Leah Delfs
Web site Manager                Mr Robert Davis                    Dr Robert Hough
Councillors                     Dr Robert Hough                    Dr Lyne Milne
                                Dr Lyne Milne                      Dr Alan Pearce
                                Dr Alan Pearce                     Dr Will Stock
                                Dr Kathy Meney

                                                              •  Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science
                     Premier’s Science                           Education: Tertiary - $5,000
                     Awards 2004                              •  Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science
                     As part of the State                        Education: Secondary - $5,000
                     Government's $100
                                                              •  Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science
                     million commitment to
                                                                 Education: Primary - $5,000
                     research and investment
in science, nominations are now open for the                  Nominations close Friday 5.00pm on 20 August
2004 Premier's Science Awards.                                2004.

Western Australia is home to a thriving                       Information about the Awards is available on
research community and leads the world in                     the Premier’s Science Council website
several key areas of science including                        www.sciencecouncil.dpc.wa.gov.au or by
agriculture, resources and medical research. Yet              contacting the Office of Science and Innovation
few of our scientists are known and celebrated                on (08) 9222 8885.
publicly. This is our opportunity to recognise
their contribution to our State. The Award                    The prizes will be presented by the Premier at
categories for 2004 are:                                      Scitech Discovery Centre on 22 October 2004.

•   Premier’s Prize for Achievement in Science                This is a joint project between the Office of
    - $10, 000                                                Science and Innovation and Scitech Discovery
                                                              Centre with the support of the Premier’s
•   Premier’s Prize for Early Career
                                                              Science Council.
    Achievement in Science - $5, 000

                              Conservation Council of WA Inc

                  Environment Matters
                                      June 2004

   The Conservation Estate
    in Western Australia
                       Guest Speakers

Associate Professor John Bailey (Chairman, Conservation
Commission) - Conservation Commission of WA: Policy,
Management Planning and Auditing

Mr Cameron Poustie (Biodiversity Officer, Conservation
Council of WA) - Barrow Island: Access to the Conservation
Estate – Will industry continue to push the Barrow?

Mr Graeme Rundle (WA National Parks and Reserves

          Date: Thursday 24 June 2004       Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: City West Lotteries House Conference Room, 2 Delhi St, West
                           Cost: FREE
                      Light supper provided

 RSVP: 9420 7266 or rosie.vinicombe@conservationwa.asn.au

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