Five of the largest companies in the Australian waste management and recycling sector have joined forces to establish the National Waste & Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC).
NWRIC, announced on 29 November, will act as the industry’s national policy setting body and represent the interests of the waste management and resource recovery activities across Australia, including waste collection, storage, transfer, sorting, treatment, processing and disposal.
Designed to represent the views of companies with ‘skin in the game’, or investment in the waste management, recycling and resource recovery industry, NWRIC has been convened by the CEO of the Australian Landfill Owners Association (ALOA), Max Spedding. Its foundation members are Cleanaway, JJ Richards, Remondis, Suez and Veolia.
“We need an organisation to truly represent the interests of the waste management and recycling industry and look at multi-jurisdictional matters but one that can also deliver strong state-based advocacy,” said Mr Spedding.
The body’s aims include developing a national advocacy agenda to promote best practice operations and work towards more harmonisation of state-based waste and resource recovery legislation across the country.
The announcement stated that the council will support the continued development of strong waste and recycling industry representation in each state and special interest area, and that these peak bodies will be offered a representative position with it.
“The NWRIC will truly be the national voice of the waste and recycling industry bringing together all players, big and small, to positively advocate for our sector,” said Mr Spedding.
Speaking to Waste Management Review on Tuesday morning, Mr Spedding said that on establishing the council had been underway for about six months due to the industry players’ general dissatisfaction with advocacy on their issues. He explained that although some individual state-based associations had been involved in advocacy, these activities had been uncoordinated and had limited broad traction for businesses with national reach. Hence the need for a nationwide, harmonised approach.
“We’re not building a new waste management association,” clarified Mr Spedding. “We will be bringing together senior managers from waste and recycling businesses and representatives of state-based or specialist sector organisations three or four times a year.
“The aim is to develop more industry-wide standards and policy recommendations, and use them as a basis for advocacy.”
The NWRIC extended an open invitation on 28 November to seven other waste and recycling companies with a national presence, including Toxfree and Solo, to join the council.
Mr Spedding said the hope was to expand the group to around 12 industry members in the short term ahead of a February decision on which associations to invite as affiliates. The plan is then to hold the first NWRIC meeting, with industry members and association representatives, in March.
“We will look at industry-wide issues and matters brought to the attention of council,” added Mr Spedding. “It will bring continuity from around the states and territories for advocacy for our sectors.”