What is Own Your Impact?

Own Your Impact is an education campaign by the Western Australian Government to help encourage more people to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle.

Why is Own Your Impact needed?

Western Australians produce more waste per person each year than people living in most other Australian states and territories. The campaign's goal is to help reduce the amount of landfill generated by ordinary individuals in their own homes, in the community, at their place of work and in schools, improve recycling and recovery rates. Find out more about WA’s waste problem.

Why isn’t the WA Government promoting a zero-waste message?

Zero-waste is a wonderful goal, but, in order to encourage meaningful change, we believe it’s better to start by promoting small, achievable changes that each and every Western Australian can make to lessen their impact.

Alongside Own Your Impact we are continuing to set the agenda in terms of waste reduction through a range of different measures. 

Who is responsible for looking after WA’s waste?

Everyone is responsible – from consumers who decide what to and what not to buy, and how they dispose of it; through to local councils who collect it from the verges; the regional councils that oversee the running of recovery and transfer stations; through to the State and Federal Governments that set policies and regulation and administer funding. 

What happens to WA’s waste?

It depends what the waste is, but waste management practices commonly include:

  • landfill;
  • recycling, sorting and material recovery;
  • recycling, sorting and selling off to third parties – this may be for processing or incineration; and 
  • composting.

Does everything that is put in my recycling bin get recycled?

No, unfortunately it doesn’t and this is one of the main reasons why reducing your waste is so important.

The Government works with waste management companies to sort and recycle as much as possible but sometimes the technology isn’t available or market demand for the recyclable material isn’t there.

It’s important however that you keep putting accepted items in your recycling bin – because this gives them a much better chance of staying of landfill as new recovery techniques are adopted.

Should single use coffee cups be placed in the recycling bin or with the general waste?

Single use coffee cups are difficult to recycle as they have an internal plastic lining – this is one of the reasons why it’s much better to opt for a reusable cup.  

However, if you are able to rinse your coffee cup out after use then it’s generally recommended that you place it in a recycling bin. It may get recycled, but not all recovery plants and third parties have coffee cup recycling capabilities so it may still end up in landfill, 

If the cup isn't clean you’ll need to place it in a general waste bin to avoid contamination of other materials. 

What is the Waste Authority?

The Waste Authority WA is part of The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER). It works with local governments, regional councils, stakeholder groups, the waste management sector and the community to promote better understanding of resource recovery.

The Authority was established under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 and is responsible for developing WA’s waste reduction strategy, advising the Minister for Environment, implementing the State Government-approved business plan and administering the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account.

How is my impact calculated?

We’ve put together this calculator to help provide an indicative volume of waste produced by your household. It is intended as a guide only and is unlikely to be 100 per cent accurate.

This tool makes a series of calculations based upon the information supplied by you, along with available waste generation data and the known volume of various vessels.   

The purpose of this calculator is to encourage households to pay closer attention to what they are throwing out, and to consider how they could improve their results.

What can I do if I think my result is wrong?

If you believe your calculation is significantly wrong please email us at hello@ownyourimpact.com.au and let us know what you think the problem may be. We’ll see if we can identify an issue in the data.

Why 21 days?

We’ve opted for a three-week period, with cumulative challenges each week, because we want people to understand that by making a few tweaks to your habits and routines you can make a difference in your household.

We felt three weeks gives you enough time to put new things into practice but it’s also not an overwhelming length of time either.

Can you do it for longer?

Of course you can – the whole idea behind it is that over the 21 days it helps your household to establish some new routines and that you continue to do things to minimise your impact once it’s over.

If you’d like to continue to receive hints, tips and information after the challenge make sure you sign up the Own Your Impact newsletter too.  

Do you collect data?

Yes we do. You can read our full Privacy Policy .

What do you use the data for?

We do not use your personal data for purposes other than what it is collected for – be that a newsletter or participation in the Own Your Impact 21 Day Waste Detox. We also collect data from the Household Waste Calculator and the How well do you know your waste quiz. This data is collected anonymously and these results are used to compare your own performance with other users.

Contact us

Have a question that's not already answered? Contact us.