NWRIC State Affiliate update

National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) State Affiliates provide a detailed overview of industry and policy changes across the country.

NWRIC is the national industry body for commercial waste and recycling operators Australia wide.

It brings together national businesses and affiliated state associations to develop and promote policies and actions to advance waste management and resource recovery in Australia – ensuring a fair, safe and sustainable industry that serves all Australians.

NWRIC state affiliates include the Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ), the Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW & ACT (WCRA), the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA), the Waste Recycling Industry of South Australia (WRISA), the Waste Recycling Industry of Western Australia (WRIWA) and the Waste Recycling Industry Northern Territory (WRINT).


WRINT – Northern Territory

Call out to product stewardship schemes to help with NT legacy waste

The Waste Recycling Industry Association (NT) (WRINT) in collaboration with the Alice Springs Town Council, Central Desert Regional Council, Mac Donnell Regional Council, Uluru National Park Mutijullu Community, the NT Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Local Government Association NT, with support from the Department of Water, Agriculture and Environment in Canberra, have been funded to (a) quantify the types and volumes of legacy waste in central region of Northern Territory (b) scope options for dealing with these legacy wastes and (c) identify potential employment and other opportunities that may arise in resolving the ongoing management of remote and regional areas of Australia legacy waste challenges.

The project will also report existing waste and recycling practices across this central region that then informs the development of the NT’s new Circular Economy Strategy. Importantly the project strategically aligns with the National Waste Action Plan – Action 3.17: Increase access to resource recovery and waste management infrastructure for regional, remote, and indigenous communities in every state and territory to the federal Department of Water, Agriculture and Environment.

In October CDU will present a draft report with all known baseline information to the project stakeholders. This will then be discussed at a project workshop to be held in Alice Springs on November 10 and 11. The workshop will define a timeline and agree specific actions to be presented to both the NT and Federal Government for their consideration of resolving the long and outstanding challenge that remote and regional Australia communities are currently faced with in terms of legacy waste, and existing waste management and recovery solutions.

In terms of the role producers, manufacturers and retailers will play in delivering long term solutions to regional and remote communities it is critical that all current product stewardship scheme operators and potential new scheme operators are provided the opportunity to present to our project, their solutions and ideas that can be adapted and considered in our final project report.

WRINT is seeking all existing and emerging scheme owners an understanding and commitment from you on how your scheme can work with these very remote and regional areas and in particular specific actions that you may commit to in helping deliver change in the Northern Territories waste and recycling policy landscape.

Accordingly, we are extending an invitation to all product stewardship scheme operators to provide our project with a written response setting out how your scheme can participate and contribute so we can include these in our final report outcomes.  More specifically, if you can provide us with information of how your scheme will deliver its own objectives and the actions you will consider implementing, to ensure that remote and regional communities have the same access to services as the rest of Australia. Your written responses to this expression are required please by Friday 22 October.

WRINT trusts this opportunity provides resonance with your organisation and if you require more information, please contact the project owner Rick Ralph at ceo@wrint.com.au


WRIQ – Queensland

WRIQ Workshop on Draft Government Strategies – Friday, 22 October

Queensland Government has currently released following two draft strategies for industry review

Draft Organic Strategy 2022–32 – feedback due

Draft Regulatory Strategy– feedback due 31 October

WRIQ is planning to host an industry specific briefing on the above two strategies and additional priorities on Fri 22 Oct in Ipswich and available online.

For more information on any of the above WRIQ initiatives please contact memberservices@wriq.com.au


WCRA ACT & New South Wales

WCRA seeks deferral of proposed revocation of Recovered Fines Orders and Exemptions

On 2 September 2021 the NSW EPA announced that it intends to revoke both the Batch Process and Continuous Process Recovered Fines (skip bin fines) Orders and Exemptions. The revocation is likely to occur at some point after a period of consultation with industry which ends on 29 October 2021.

There is no replacement to the Recovered Fines Orders and Exemptions as the EPA intends to stop recyclers recovering fines from mixed building and demolition waste. The decision is based on a two-year audit of compliance in the industry. Whilst the revocation has not been announced publicly by the EPA, WCRA has informed its members.

The EPA has advised as an alternative that processors may seek a specific order and exemption for Recovered Fines recovered only from source separated materials such as bricks, concrete, ceramics or mixed-use materials (but not mixed building and demolition waste).

To improve the recovery of excavated soil, the EPA has announced a proposed new Recovered Soils Order and Exemption. A draft is currently being exhibited for which public consultation will close on 30 September 2021.

If the current Recovered Fines Orders and Exemptions are revoked, it will have a material negative impact on the C&D waste and recycling industry. The impact is also likely to extend to adjacent industries including construction, demolition, civil contracting, landscaping and householders. These implications include-:

  • Increased volumes to landfill (and reduced recovery rates)
  • Increased costs to the sector (est. +$350 m pa)
  • Increased costs per tonne of waste
  • Accelerated use of limited landfill void space
  • Imbalance in supply/demand of recovered fines
  • Increased use of scarce virgin material
  • Potential for long-distance transport of mixed C&D waste to interstate recycling or landfill
  • Recycling facilities will not meet recovery targets
  • Inability for NSW Government to achieve its own 20-year waste strategy targets
  • Increase in illegal dumping
  • Significant reduction in investment in recycling infrastructure
  • Inability of construction sites to pre-sort waste on site
  • Contracts -: cost & resource recovery rates

Despite the above implications the EPA has not undertaken a Regulatory Impact Study, which industry proposes to undertake at a cost to the industry (but we need more time to undertake these studies and to articulate our arguments to protect the resource recovery sector, along with the construction sector).

The NSW waste management and recycling industry is unanimously opposed to the rushed implementation of this revocation as it will have unintended consequences for the recycling industry and extend to other industries, including construction and householders.

It is the intention of the sector to continue working with the EPA to resolve this issue. To allow sufficient time for further studies and meaningful consultation, we still believe that we need until 31 December 2021 to ensure industry can provide this information to government. All issues and enquires to tony@wcra.com.au

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