Australia, Industry News, News

Industry waste and resource recovery report has something for everyone

The Inside Waste Industry Report gives readers and in-depth look at the waste industry. Whether it’s a state-by-state comparison that you’re looking for, or a breakdown of volumes of recovered material such as metals, organics, plastics; the report has information for all.

With the release of the second volume, ‘Policy and Regulation’, Inside Waste is giving you a quick look at what can be found in this chapter.

First we take a look at Federal government targets and achievements. Followed by a state-by-state view of the industry.

New South Wales is the largest waste-producing state in Australia, generating 18.04 million tonnes in 2017-18.

The state has long been distinguished from other states by its primary reliance on a high waste levy to promote recycling and resource recovery and divert waste from landfill. This has driven some infrastructure investment. Four of Australia’s seven Alternative Waste Treatment facilities to process mixed waste are in NSW, but the state remains a mid-tier performer in terms of resource recovery.

It is also short of the 2021-22 resource recovery targets which its Waste and Resource Recovery (WARR) Strategy list.

According to the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy Progress Report 2017-18, published by the NSW EPA, the total waste generated per capita (comprising MSW, C&I and C&D waste) rose from 2.42 tonnes to 2.69 tonnes per capita over the three years to 2017-18. However, there has been a steady reduction in MSW generated on a per capita basis (from 0.57 tonnes to 0.53 tonnes per capita over the three years to 2017-18), as well as on a total tonnage basis (from 4.38 million tonnes to 4.25 million tonnes).

The target by 2021-22 is to Reduce waste generation per capita (from a 2012-13 baseline of 2.34 tonnes per person).

Victoria’s progress in the waste sector tells a different story. It has one of the highest rates of waste recovery in Australia, at 69 per cent in 2017-18, but is facing a range of acute waste challenges which led to a 2018 parliamentary inquiry into the state’s waste ‘crisis’. Additionally, the Victorian Auditor-General released a report critiquing the lack of action to minimise waste, invest in recovery infrastructure or adequately regulate the sector.

Among the challenges were a series of waste-related fires from 2017 to 2019, including of hazardous waste illegally stockpiled in warehouses and of recyclable materials stored by SKM Recycling in the face of the Asian import restrictions on mixed recyclables.

In contrast, Queensland has one of the lowest recovery rates in Australia, generating 10.9 million tonnes of headline waste in 2017-18, with 45 per cent being either recycled or recovered. Additionally, waste generation rates are growing faster than the population, although this may be partially explained by the significant increase in tonnes transported from interstate.

Historically, the state has not had strong policy drivers in place to drive resource recovery, which has created inconsistency between waste outcomes in Queensland and other states and territories. For example, Queensland is the only state and territory without an independent Environmental Protection Authority, leading to confusion over compliance protocols and an adversarial relationship between the private sector and state government.

Want to know more about one of these states or another jurisdiction? The 63-page chapter can give you an insight into the industry that is easy to follow and easy to read.

To purchase this volume or the full report click here.

The report is the result of a unique collaboration between Prime Creative Media, Arcadis consulting group and the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR).