About this report
The Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities commissioned Equilibrium to conduct a stock-take of current Australian standards, specifications and guidelines related to waste and recovered resources. Standards, specifications and guidelines can assist the operation of markets for recovered resources, help improve management of risks to human health and the environment, make regulation more efficient and lead to better decisions by market participants. The stock-take is intended to provide both a baseline of where we are now and some suggested priorities for future standards, specifications and guidelines.
Published as A stock-take of waste-related standards, specifications and guidelines, the stock-take found more than 200 current Australian waste-related standards, specifications and guidelines. While there is national consistency in some areas of waste and resource recovery, there are also some gaps or differences in approaches across different jurisdictions and markets. The review identifies ten areas that could benefit from further action:
a) Waste compositional auditing
b) Standards and specifications for the use of recycled materials
c) Domestic recycling standards
d) Recycler data collection and disclosure
e) Energy from waste facilities and refuse derived fuels
g) Consultation, communications and education
h) Transfer stations
i) Greenhouse gas emissions
j) Data collection and reporting.
The stock-take supports work under the National Waste Policy: Less Waste, More Resources, specifically Strategy 5 which aims to 'facilitate the development of a suite of agreed national principles, specifications, best practice guidelines and standards, to remove impediments to the development and operation of effective markets for potential wastes.'