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Suez signs up to Waste of Origin Pledge

Waste management company, Suez, has become one of two companies to commit to the Waste Management Association of Australia’s (WMAA) newly-established Waste of Origin Pledge.

WMAA launched its pledge to challenge the waste industry to join its fight against irresponsible, dangerous and environmentally damaging practices in the sector.

According to WMAA’s website, Suez has joined REMONDIS in making the pledge.

In the pledge, WMAA has said its members wish to see improved standards across the sector, including waste reduction and recycling, with disposal to landfill considered a last resort.

WMAA has said it supports the application of a waste hierarchy and the development of an economy in Australia that promotes the best use of resources.

“However, this development is being undermined by the lack of harmonisation of waste management regulation and enforcement between Australian states and territories,” the pledge has stated.

“WMAA calls for shared responsibility between government, industry and the community to solve this issue. The WMAA recognises that attempts are being made by state governments to address the issue of interstate transportation of waste. But it is simply taking too long.”

WMAA has challenged waste generators and the the waste management sector associated with landfill levy avoidance through long distance waste transport to immediately sign the pledge.

In Australia and around the world, Suez has said that it is committed to and provides sustainable resource management. This will reportedly include investing in a circular economy, and making significant efforts to recycle waste materials, leading to lower resource costs and less greenhouse gas emissions.

Suez has said that Australian companies that produce substantial amounts of waste should have confidence that waste is being reduced and recycled, with landfill disposed achieved at the lowest environmental impact where possible.

Suez CEO – Australia & New Zealand, Mark Venhoek, has said that transporting waste unnecessarily over many hundreds of kilometres was simply an absurd outcome.

Suez has said that it believes the sole motivation for moving all of this waste by road and rail is profit, rather than assisting the environment.

“There are 20,000 additional and unnecessary heavy truck movements on the Pacific Highway due to some organisations sending waste to Queensland to avoid the NSW waste levy,” said Venhoek.

“That means increased emissions, congestion, and increased chances of spills. It also undermines investment in waste and recycling services in New South Wales.

“We encourage others in the waste management sector to sign the Waste of Origin Pledge and encourage waste generators to ask where their waste is going and also consider their role in the responsible management of waste.

“We also call on state and federal governments to work with the industry and harmonise laws across Australia to remove the perverse incentives to transport waste interstate.

“The Waste of Origin Pledge is about encouraging waste disposal as close to its point of origin and putting waste to good use,” he said.

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