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Cash for Charities Fighting Illegal Dumping

27 August 2015 at 11:53 am
Xavier Smerdon
The West Australian Government will pilot a new program to provide financial support to charities which implement measures to reduce illegal dumping at their premises.

Xavier Smerdon | 27 August 2015 at 11:53 am


Cash for Charities Fighting Illegal Dumping
27 August 2015 at 11:53 am

The West Australian Government will pilot a new program to provide financial support to charities which implement measures to reduce illegal dumping at their premises.

WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the Better Practice Program for Charitable Recyclers was being developed to address concerns about the amount of illegal dumping at charity bins, which was a significant financial burden for the Not for Profit organisations.

To take effect from next year, the program will include grants for charities to implement measures such as lighting and fencing and education to discourage illegal dumping.

The WA Government said it will also provide rebates to participating charitable recyclers for the cost of disposing of the waste at landfill sites.

The program will be complemented by the Department of Environment Regulation's Illegal Dumping Team which will patrol dumping hot spots and use covert electronic surveillance to identify offenders.

The Government said it has a target of 65 per cent diversion from landfill of material presented for collection in the metropolitan region and 50 per cent in regional areas by June 30, 2020

“It costs $55 a tonne to dispose of household waste at a landfill site in WA,” Jacob said.

"Most people do the right thing but the illegal dumping of unwanted goods at charitable premises is a significant and growing problem."

"While Western Australia's rate of casual littering is coming down, the incidence of illegally dumping rubbish is still very high.

"When people thoughtlessly dump their damaged or unwanted goods at charity bins and stores, the charity is then left to cover the costs of handling and disposal – which in some cases can amount to many thousands of dollars.”

The Government said the Waste Authority is leading discussions on the initiative with charitable recyclers including the Red Cross, Good Samaritan Industries, Salvation Army, Spine and Limb Foundation, Anglicare WA, St Vincent de Paul Society (WA) Inc, Save the Children, People Who Care and the RSPCA WA.

"The Government is pleased to be working co-operatively with charitable organisations to support their important community work and to protect the environment by reducing the dumping of waste," Jacob said.

"People can help to reduce costs to charities by avoiding donating anything that is broken, damaged, torn, ripped, stained or faulty.  If there's something wrong with the items, then the charity cannot sell them and will have to pay to send the goods to a waste disposal facility."

The WA moves bring that State in line with Victoria and NSW where subsidies pay a proportion of the cost charities to manage illegal dumping. Victoria has also provided funding for new surveillance equipment, signage and fencing as part of a $500,000 Government support package.

In 2013, the NSW EPA launched its Pilot Program to Reduce Illegal Dumping on Charitable Recyclers. Under the pilot program, the EPA allocated $96,000 to eight projects, which trialled a number of prevention and deterrent methods, including cameras and signage together with education and awareness-raising campaigns.

In 2014 strict new guidelines for the use of charity bins were introduced by in the ACT Government after more than a year of negotiations with local charities.

A new Code of Practice to reduce illegal dumping at charity bins across the ACT has been introduced which places stricter requirements on rubbish removal, the number of bins and the collection locations.

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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