Seberang Prai to draw on Fremantle’s success story in solid waste disposal

FREMANTLE in Western Australia is keen on sharing with its sister city, Seberang Prai, its success story of replacing its sanitary landfill with a regional solid waste composting and recycling facility, said its mayor Brad Pettitt.

Pettitt said the city closed down its landfill in the early 1990s to embark on a regional waste management strategy with neighbouring cities — Cockburn, East Fremantle, Kwinana, Melville and Rockingham.

He said the cities, which are members of the South Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC), initiated the Regional Resource Recovery Centre (RRRC) which houses a waste composting facility, materials recovery facility and green waste processing facility.

“The SMRC-owned AUD$100mil state-of-the-art RRRC, based in Canning Vale, Perth, is the largest waste processing facility in Australia.

“The centre has dramatically reduced household material sent to landfills by almost 80% via a simple community friendly two-bin collection system,” he said after paying a courtesy call on Seberang Prai Municipal Council president Maimunah Mohd Sharif at the council headquarters recently.

Pettitt said the SMRC provided residents with green-top bins for kitchen waste, household waste and garden waste as well as yellow-top bins for dry recyclable material such as paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminium.

He said the compost produced from the RRRC was sold to orchards and farms as fertilisers while some portions were used by the SMRC in the planting of floral trees and shrubs within the city.

He said the centre, which made enough returns to cover its operational costs, was aimed at maintaining a sustainable and environment-friendly waste disposal system.

“It took us almost 10 to 15 years to convince the people to recycle their wastes.

“With necessary education and awareness, almost 100% of our households now recycle their wastes,” Pettitt said.

He said Fremantle, which is the port city of Perth, covered a land area of 150sq km and had a 30,000 population.

Maimunah said it was heartening for the council to revive sister city ties with Fremantle that was established since 1978, adding that they had last carried out common activities in 1997.

“Seberang Prai can learn from Fremantle city’s good governance, sustainable development and best practices to emerge as a livable and international city.

“We also hope to attract investments from Australia as well as have cultural and tourism exchange programmes in the near future,” she said.

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