Waste and Resource Recovery in the EMRC Region

Waste management in the EMRC region is a collective responsibility.  We all generate waste, at home, at work, in our recreational spaces and in most of our day-to-day activities. The region’s local governments and the EMRC have individual and shared responsibility for the collection and management of waste generated however, we as individuals need to take responsibility for our purchases as well as how we dispose of them.

Waste to landfill

The EMRC operates the Red Hill Waste Management Facility on behalf of the six-member Councils. The Red Hill Waste Management Facility is a licensed class IV site that accepts household and domestic waste (including hazardous waste), commercial waste, contaminated solid waste and asbestos. Figure 1 outlines the total volume of waste received each month during the 2019 / 2020 financial year and financial year to date. Figure 2 and 3 show the incoming tonnage by source and waste type. 

Figure 1: Total waste tonnage from all Member Councils by Financial Year 

Figure 2: Total incoming tonnage by commercial and Member Council

Figure 3: Total tonnage received in 2020 by source

Recycling Rates

Recycling rates are steadily improving. More people are making the effort to separate their recyclables in the home. The recovery rates below refer to material that was recycled from the EMRC managed facilities – the Red Hill Waste Management Facility and the Hazelmere Resource Recovery Park.  Figure 4 shows the waste to landfill and recovery rates by month for the 2019/2020 financial year, while Figure 5 reports on the waste/recovery by Council.

 

Figure 4: Total tonnage received from all Member Councils during 2020 by Month

 Figure 5: Total tonnage in 2020 by Member Councils 

Hazardous Substances

A substance is hazardous if it can catch fire, react or explode when mixed with other substances, if it releases dangerous vapours or odours or if it is corrosive or toxic. Among others, common hazardous materials in homes include Batteries and lightbulbs. If disposed of incorrectly, hazardous products have the potential to harm life in our rivers and lakes, and contaminate our drinking water and the food chain. The Waste Authority’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program provides facilities where householders can drop off unwanted hazardous items at no charge. The EMRC’s HHW facility is located at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility (1094 Toodyay Road). Other drop-off locations and more information can be found in the 2020 WALGA Household Hazardous Waste Flyer.

The EMRC dry cell (household) Battery Collection Program began in 2003 after recognising the need to address the issues associated with household batteries being disposed of in landfill, including the long-term impacts on soil and water quality. There are currently 116 schools and 41 public collection points in the EMRC region where residents can safely dispose of their single-use and rechargeable dry cell batteries. Batteries are reprocessed into other products such as new batteries, street lights and steel frames for houses.

A similar program for compact fluorescent light globes and tubes (CFL’s) commenced in the eastern metropolitan region in 2008. Although CFLs result in significant energy savings, small quantities of mercury in the globes meant that a safe disposal system was warranted. At present, there are 27 public collection points in the eastern region where residents can drop-off their used CFLs.

 

Figure 6 shows the volume of batteries and CFL’s collected in 2019/20 by Council, while Figure 7 shows the total tonnage diverted from landfill in the last 5 financial years. 

 

 Figure 6: Total quantity of batteries and CFL's received in 2020 by Member Councils

Figure 7: Total quantity of Batteries and CFLs received by financial year

EMRC’s battery collection and CFL programs are delivering a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits to the region. With more schools and public locations being added to the program all the time, the EMRC and the member Councils are ensuring that we and generations to come can enjoy a more sustainable future.

To find out more about recycling locations visit EMRC’s Fluorescent light recycling or Dry cell battery collection program pages or contact the Waste Education Team for more information

Ph: (08) 9424 2222

Email: Waste Education@emrc.org.au