Waste Policy

PRINCIPLES

1. All people have a right to clean air, fresh water and unpolluted soil.

2. Waste as a by-product of industry and individual living should initially be minimised and ultimately eliminated.

3. The transportation of hazardous waste must be minimised, and the Australian community must be fully informed about its location, disposal and transportation.

4. Cleaner production technology, reducing unnecessary packaging and waste generation, recycling product and packaging waste, and diverting organic waste from landfill are crucial for protecting our environment.

5. Governments must practise waste avoidance in their own operations.

6. Waste should be treated as a resource and reused and recycled in ways that result in the least environmental harm.

7. To improve the longevity and repairability of products, manufacturers, importers and distributors, of products and packaging and retailers, are best placed to take financial and physical responsibility for their products and packaging at the end of life.

8. The full social, environmental and economic costs must be measured and factored in to decisions about creating, managing and disposing of waste.

AIMS

1. The phasing out of waste disposal in landfill by:

  • a. implementing a State phase out of the use of landfills for the disposal of unsorted waste;
  • b. documenting and monitoring the generation of different waste streams, with a focus on hazardous materials, with the aim of keeping all stockpiles and newly generated hazardous waste to a minimum;
  • c. identifying non-recyclable and hazardous material to be phased out of use; and
  • d. improving the recovery of organic waste from current levels via improved and expanded collection mechanisms and appropriately managed large-scale composting and anaerobic digestion facilities.

2. To reach agreement with other states to implement national producer-run take-back and recycling schemes for problematic wastes, with at least 75% recovery, and with penalties for failure.

3. Legislation to require a deposit-refund system for drink containers.

4. A ban of non-recyclable and excess packaging, including take-away food and drink containers.

5. Legislation to ban the free distribution of plastic bags and support plastic bag free initiatives.

6. Improved mandatory health, safety and environmental standards for waste disposal and storage with proper enforcement.

7. Strict enforcement of and higher penalties for the illegal disposal of waste.

8. Support for harmonisation of nationally consistent waste disposal and landfill regulation and levies to prevent cross-border avoidance.

9. The establishment of a government procurement framework aimed at the verifiable reduction of the environmental impact of equipment and consumable goods used by government departments and agencies.

10. Better regulation of landfill sites to limit material accepted, and increased landfill levies set at levels that effectively discourages landfill as a waste disposal option.

11. Improved administration and use of landfill levy funds for waste minimisation, anti dumping and anti litter initiatives with timely disbursement of funds and transparent reporting.

12. All local governments encouraged to provide recycling and green waste disposal services to all properties (both residential and commercial) for non-industrial scale waste.

13. Manage existing and landfill sites better, including by ensuring maximum possible methane capture, improving the environmental standards for operating landfills, and banning unstabilised organics from landfill.

14. Support for research, development and public consultation on new and emerging waste management technologies, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gases and other pollution.

15. Promote a precautionary approach to the adoption of new technology. Public investment in waste reduction and management should reflect the waste management hierarchy (reduce, re-use and recycle.)

16.. Oppose incineration for the disposal of materials that can be re-used, recycled or composted.

17. Incineration (all thermal treatment of waste, with or without energy recovery) should not be classified as renewable energy if feedstock includes materials produced using fossil fuels or otherwise are not carbon neutral or negative.

18. Ensure the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 and the National Environment Protection Measures for the Movement of Controlled Wastes between States and Territories are strictly enforced.

19. Establish treatment facilities using the latest in waste disposal science, close to industry which produces such waste and/or can use the treated waste, and away from residential and environmentally sensitive areas.

20. Ensure all toxic waste material plants operate at the highest safety level, and are regularly monitored and audited by appropriate Government authorities.

21. Require the Government Purchasing Board to develop clear environmental purchasing guidelines and targets, and provide training in tender specifications and contract management.

22. Ensure official Government and Government sponsored events are Waste Wise, with provision for evaluation and continual improvement.

23. Prohibit the export of hazardous waste and e-waste unless similar health, safety and environmental standards exist in the importing country.

 

Waste Policy as amended by State Council on 10th February 2018.