The Western Australian government has given close to $120,000 in grants to 13 community groups to reduce waste, improve recycling and provide public education.

The first round of grants was announced by environment minister Stephen Dawson, and will help the government achieve its targets of diverting from landfill 65 per cent of municipal solid waste in the Perth metropolitan region and 50 per cent in major regional centres by 2020.

Recipients include a mobile phone app aimed at helping local shops and cafes donate their excess food to community organisations, a new hub to drop off hazardous household waste and an awareness campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags.

Mr Dawson applauded the recipients for their dedication to reducing the state’s waste.

“Initiatives like these help increase awareness and education around our understanding of the benefits of waste avoidance, reuse and recycling,” he said.

“Supporting these communities-focused projects will help the McGowan Labor Government achieve the Western Australian Waste Strategy targets of diverting 65 per cent of municipal solid waste in the Perth metropolitan region and 50 per cent in major regional centres from landfill by 2020.”

Funded projects were:

Reduce your Use and Recycle (Northern Agricultural Catchments Council) – $20,000 to build on the successful Skip the Plastic community recycling program trialled in Geraldton in 2016, including the introduction of 10 new recycling drop-off points, permanent signage and inspiring community engagement activities

Think.Eat.Save (OzHarvest) – $15,000 to hold a community event in the Perth CBD promoting food waste minimisation.  Local chefs, politicians and celebrities will cook ‘rescued’ fresh food that would otherwise end up in landfill and will serve members of the public a delicious free hot meal on the day;

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover and Renew: Waste Management in the WA Club Industry (Clubs WA) – $15,900 to hold a think tank event in early 2018, which will bring the State’s metropolitan and regional clubs together to examine current waste management strategies, and workshop ways to develop and improve them for the future. A Waste Reduction Award will also be launched at the 2018 Western Australian Club Industry Awards;

Bag the Bags: Spreading the Word about Plastic in our Environment (Mount Barker Community Garden) – $13,167 for educational presentations and workshops to engage the community to keep plastics out of waterways and promote the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ message;

ReFood: The Food Sharing Network (ECU ReFood Group) – $12,798 to develop a mobile phone application that connects community organisations which redistribute food with local shops and cafes.  Food can be advertised through the app, then ‘claimed’ and collected;

Show UR Green (Bindoon and Districts Agricultural Society Inc) – $11,745 to assist in implementing recycling at the Bindoon Agricultural Show. This initiative will help raise community awareness of the benefits of avoidance, reuse, recycling and responsible disposal through interactive performance artists, bin monitors, educational displays and promotion

Wake Up to Plastics (Dongara Placemaking Group) – $8115 to create awareness and reduce the number of plastic bags by distributing jute bags and holding workshops and information sessions on recycling

Leading by Example (Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service) – $6700 to purchase a mobile incinerator for medical waste for the Jigalong remote community near Newman

Plastic Free July events, information and education (Peel Preservation Group Inc) – $5610 to challenge the community on its use of single-use plastics all year round at events and presentations, including for primary schools and through social and other media

Great Southern Soft Plastics Project: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (Albany Community Environment Centre) – $4208 to launch soft plastic recycling bins, demonstrations and hands-on activities aimed at reducing single-use plastic usage

Bridgetown Boomerang Bags Bounce Back (Blackwood Youth Action Inc) – $3200 for a community initiative that will create shopping bags for people to borrow on entering a local store instead of using plastic bags.  At a later time they can return the bag/s to the depot for reuse by other shoppers

Mobile Waste Education Station (MWES) (Denmark Arts) – $2504 to create a mobile waste education station for use at community events in Denmark

Good Poo for You (RDA – Peel Group) – $845 to build a manure composting system for waste generated by equine clubs and educate horse owners about manure composting

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