Bassendean Backs Innovative Waste Proposal

Published: Wednesday, 29 May 2019 at 8:00:00 AM

The Town of Bassendean is proudly standing behind its proposal to trial a voluntary innovative waste management program which involves digitally recording and weighing household waste.

“We can only accommodate 1500 households on the trial and we think we will be inundated with offers to participate,” said Mayor Renee McLennan.

“Bassendean is a very progressive community and has already shown itself ready to be a leader when it comes to bold action that helps protect the environment,” she added.

“This latest proposed trial builds on our introduction of the three-bin program to address the issue of food and organics waste and our push for stronger national action on packaging and household waste avoidance.”

The industry-led research project will apply innovative resource and waste tracking technologies to household bins to provide detailed information on product packaging, household consumption, recycling behaviour and the overall waste management practices of each household.

The data would then fed back to householders via a mobile app to be developed as part of the project – and to the research team.

“It’s like a Fit Bit for waste management,” said the Mayor.  “Just as health-conscious people welcome their movement being monitored – and are motivated to do better, participants in this trial will get a really clear picture of their waste management and hopefully be motivated to avoid generating waste and recycle more.”  

For researchers, the pilot project will improve the understanding of household waste habits and patterns, which in turn will help develop ways to encourage recycling and a more circular economy.   It will also help identify problematic packaging and ways to reduce contamination of recycled material, through better design (by industry) and behaviour change.

Ultimately, it will also lead to a reduction in landfill costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are looking at the whole system – from product design to disposal,” said Mayor McLennan.

Mayor McLennan rejected claims that the waste management trial would be an invasion of privacy saying environmentally-aware residents would have nothing to fear and everything to gain in terms of a healthier, more sustainable environment.

Technology or Curtin University researchers will be analysing the picture of waste.

“The project is not interested in what you ate for breakfast, but we do want to help you properly dispose of the cereal package, yoghurt tub and juice bottle,” she said.

“Western Australia has one of the worst waste management records in the country.  We need to take bold action now.”

The program is entitled Developing a Smart Resource Tracking System to clean-up the Australian Waste Industry and is a collaboration SMEs (Tradr, Matter), waste industry (SUEZ), local government bodies (Town of Bassendean), Academic and research institute (CIC, Curtin University) and NGO’s (Climate-KIC Australia). The project is particularly interesting for SMEs as both Tradr and Matter are collaborating in the project by offering their unique smart technologies which are vital for the project.

Federal funding for the trial is yet to be approved. In the meantime, the Town of Bassendean Councillors will consider the proposal tonight (28 May).   If given the go-ahead, the first phase of the project including work to develop the technology could commence within months.

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