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Are Our Current Waste Management Policies Effective?

Australia is one of the largest producers of rubbish in the world. Compared to other developed countries, we are lagging behind in terms of waste management. Because of this, the National Waste Policy comprising policies on proper waste management was established in 2009. It contains the framework that every individual, family, businesses, industries, and government units must follow to deal with rubbish in the country. 

What are the Waste Management Policies in Australia?

The National Waste Policy consists of several policies on waste management for individuals, households, businesses, industries and government units. Here’s a list to name a few of these policies:

  • Cut down on food waste
  • Practice waste segregation and kerbside recycling
  • Compost 
  • Avoid littering
  • Stop using single-use plastics and other disposable items
  • Avoid business waste
  • Employ product stewardship
  • Promote sustainable design and packaging

What are the KPIs of Effective Waste Management Policies?

Australia’s waste management policies aim to achieve a circular economy where waste is regarded as a valuable resource, something that can be reprocessed over and over again. Consequently, we should curtail waste generation and the loss of resources like energy, natural resources, and financial assets. The
National Waste Policy Action Plan states the following targets to achieve by the year 2030.

Ban on export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres

By far, Australia has been working on establishing new markets for recycled products and materials and industry-capacity infrastructures for the collection, sorting, recycling and reprocessing of recycled materials. On August 20 this year, the government drafted the
Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 to ensure that we take responsibility for our waste.

Reduce the total waste generated in the by 10% per person

In 2016-17, Australia generated around 67 million tonnes (Mt) of waste which is about 2.7 tonnes per capita. Over the 11-year period from 2006-2017, waste production has increased by 3.9 Mt (6%) but has decreased in terms of waste generation per person.

80% average resource recovery rate from all waste streams following the waste hierarchy

We recycled approximately 31.7 Mt of rubbish in 2016-17. According to the eleven-year data, recycling of materials from all waste streams increased. C&D waste increased by 3.4 Mt or 34%, MSW by 1.5 Mt or 31%, and C&I waste plus ash increased by 2.7 Mt or 19%. 

Significantly increase the use of recycled content by governments and industry

Several businesses and government units in Australia are using and manufacturing products with recycled content. Several
environmental groups have been pushing to make the use of recycled content in packaging mandatory. Aside from packaging, we have also been researching the use of recycled materials on road building and construction projects. 

Phase-out problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025

Laws banning the use and production of harmful plastics have been underway. South Australia was the first state to ban single-use plastics like straws and cutlery in Australia, but this is yet to be in effect due to the pandemic. Similarly, lightweight plastic bags have been phased out per territory but not nationally. This ban is still on the table in New South Wales.

Halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill for disposal

In 2016-17, Australia deposited about 6.7 Mt of organic waste in landfills. This amount consists of organic wastes like food, yard wastes, and
timber. Over the 11-year timeframe, the recycling rate of organics increased from 39% to 52% (5.4 to 7.3 Mt). About 18% of the 5 Mt food waste was recycled while 76% was sent to landfill.

Make comprehensive, economy-wide and timely data publicly available to support better consumer, investment and policy decisions

The government is working hard to making documents and data on waste management publicly available. For example,
developments on the National Waste Policy are available and accessible online for Australians to keep track of how we’re reaching our targets.


Based on the trends in our recycling, resource recovery, and disposal in landfills, Australia’s waste management practices are effective. There is a chance that we could meet our set targets for the year 2030. However, we still have a long way to go. We should continue to abide by these waste management policies if we’re determined to achieve our goals. 

Kurt’s Rubbish Removal works toward the same goal as you. We operate sustainably so that we can reduce the waste that goes to landfills and turn waste into a resource. So, aside from doing the tasks of heavy lifting, collecting, and transporting your junk away from you, we’ll also take care of the recycling and reprocessing of your rubbish. We partner with recycling facilities to efficiently disassemble and recycle every piece of your rubbish.

Trust Kurt’s team of expert rubbish removalists to do your rubbish removal. We can take away virtually all types and size of waste. We also guarantee you that we will work in the most efficient and environment-friendly manner possible. Call us now at 0428 255 438 or send us your enquiries through email.


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Fast & quick rubbish removal
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We recycle everything
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We take it all unwanted junk