Waste avoidance and resource recovery in NSW
The waste hierarchy
The waste hierarchy, established under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001, is one that ensures that resource management options are considered against the following priorities:
- Avoidance including action to reduce the amount of waste generated by households, industry and all levels of government
- Resource recovery including reuse, recycling, reprocessing and energy recovery, consistent with the most efficient use of the recovered resources
- Disposal including management of all disposal options in the most environmentally responsible manner.
The highest priority, avoidance, encourages the community, industry and government to reduce the amount of virgin materials extracted and used and waste generated and to be more efficient in their use of resources.
Resource recovery maximises the options for reuse, recycling, reprocessing and energy recovery at the highest net value of the recovered material. This encourages the efficient use of recovered resources while supporting the principles of improved environmental outcomes and ecologically sustainable development. Resource recovery can also embrace new and emerging technologies.
An end-of-pipe solution, disposal, is the least desirable option and must be carefully handled to minimise negative environmental outcomes.
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy
Achieving a reduction in waste generation and turning waste into recoverable resources are priorities for NSW. To meet this challenge, a framework for reducing waste and making better use of our precious resources was introduced in 2003 - the NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy (the 'Waste Strategy') - a first for Australia.
In 2007, the strategy was reviewed and updated with the release of NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2007.
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Progress Report 2010
The Environment Protection Authority is required to report progress against the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (WARR) Strategy every two years. This is the fourth progress report with previous reports published in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Volume 1 summarises the main findings in each of the four key result areas of the WARR strategy; it also outlines NSW policy and programs supporting the WARR Strategy and highlights future opportunities.
Volume 2 expands on the themes summarised in Volume 1, providing more detailed information on data methodology; resource recovery data and key NSW policies and programs for waste reduction and resource recovery.
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy Progress Report 2010, Volume 1 (110060WARRSPRvolume1.pdf, 642KB)
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy Progress Report 2010, Volume 2 (110061WARRSPRvolume2.pdf, 980KB)
Quality Declaration Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy Recycling Rates (110334WARRrates.pdf, 507KB): This provides the context surrounding data collection and analysis used for determining recycling rates provided in the WARR Progress Reports 2010. It allows users to understand the factors affecting the quality of these recycling rates.
Review of Waste Strategy and its implementation
Following a review of NSW waste strategy and policy, chaired by David Richmond AO in 2010, a new implementation strategy has been developed.
The Review of Waste Strategy and Policy in NSW (101034RevWasteStrat.pdf, 5.16MB) examined the implementation of the Waste Avoidance and Recovery Strategy, focusing on progress in meeting the strategy's recycling targets for 2014. The review proposed 23 enhancements to waste policies and strategies to provide stronger drivers for achieving the targets.
Reducing Waste: Implementation Strategy 2011-2015 (110147implementstrat2011-15.pdf, 550KB) featured revised strategies over the subsequent four years to make it easier for households and businesses to recycle, reduce littering, increase producer responsibility for problem wastes, and increase investment in waste infrastructure.
Page last updated: 12 July 2012