Materials recycling facilities - Fire Pollution Prevention Strategy

DWER has developed and implemented a Materials Recycling Facilities Fire Pollution and Prevention Strategy, to mitigate and manage the risk of fire-related environmental harm and pollution and any impacts on waste management.

Background

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (the department) has developed and implemented a Materials Recycling Facilities (MRF) Fire Pollution and Prevention Strategy (the strategy), to mitigate and manage the risk of fire-related environmental harm and pollution and any impacts on waste management.

The key objectives of the strategy are to:

  • improve the segregation, and appropriate recycling and disposal of materials, such as lithium batteries, which can increase the risk of fires starting at waste facilities; and
  • work towards achieving better practice at waste management facilities that store and process combustible waste.

What is Happening Now?

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Stakeholder communication and education

In conjunction with the Waste Authority and the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), the department is working with local governments to develop a community education campaign focused on reducing contamination in kerbside bins. This includes the need to prevent hazardous wastes such as lithium batteries, marine flares, aerosols and gas canisters from entering the municipal recycling waste stream.

Ongoing education initiatives for the appropriate collection and recycling of hazardous materials will focus on consistent communication within local communities, advocating for reduced waste generation and improving behaviours around disposal of waste in the correct bins. This will reduce contamination and improve recycling efforts, increasing rates of recovery of recyclable materials.

Achieving better practice

In consultation with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services the department is developing Better Practice Guidelines for Waste Treatment and Storage Facilities. These guidelines will set the standards required to meet ‘better practice’ including infrastructure and equipment specifications, process and operational standards and management measures. These guidelines are in the early stages of development and public consultation on the draft guidelines is expected to start later this year.

More Information

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If you have any questions about this program or how it may affect you or your workplace, please contact info@dwer.wa.gov.au and place ‘MRF Strategy’ in the subject heading.

Updates August 2020

Page reviewed 22 February 2021