Waste Management Strategic Plan

For many years now waste management has been a contentious issue for the City of Busselton. The community is concerned about how waste is managed and Council is concerned about the provision of a cost effective and reliable service and adequate provision for future waste management needs to the community. All this needs to be undertaken in an environmentally responsible manner.

The City of Busselton's history of waste management has been similar to many rural local authorities. In the early days waste was seen purely in terms of disposal to landfill. The district’s population was small, land was plentiful so the selected treatment was to dig a shallow hole and bury the waste.

Waste management is now far more sophisticated. The focus of waste management has changed from disposal practices to the diversion of waste from landfill via avoidance, reuse and recycling.

New technologies also supplement and provide alternatives to land filling such as the recovery of landfill gases and gasification/incineration of waste to generate electricity.

It is important for local government and the community as a whole to view waste management as management of an important future resource and not as the disposal of unwanted material. A large proportion of everything produced and manufactured on the earth will one day eventually end up in the hands of local government authorities for management or disposal.

With careful thought, planning and the implementation of the appropriate management practices local government can ensure that all of these resources are utilised once again for the benefit of future generations. This will reduce the reliance on the extraction of raw materials and minimise the generation of greenhouse gases from land fill, manufacturing and transport operations.

This will not only help Australia meet its Kyoto Protocol targets, but will significantly benefit the environment and maximise natural resources.

Even though the City’s waste management operations are small in scale, the City recognises that the district of the City of Busselton encompasses one of the world’s most pristine and environmentally sensitive areas and is one of Australia’s 15 biodiversity hotspots. Therefore the City’s waste management practices form an important component in ensuring the local environment is sensitively managed on behalf of the community.

The implementation of best practice in waste management will ensure that the City of Busselton is best placed to benefit from future advances in waste management practices and will also provide a benchmark for other rural local authorities to follow and hence improve the management of adjacent environments.