Australians are third to the US and UK when it comes to waste, producing almost 2 tonnes per person each year. 38% of household waste is recycled. When combined with industrial, demolition and commercial waste about half (21 million tonnes) is sent to landfill wasting valuable organics and other materials such as metals, rare minerals, and plastics. South Australia tops the recycling list followed by the ACT, Victoria, NSW, QLD and WA.
After decades of struggle, the era of huge, toxic dump sites is beginning to be superceded by a new generation of smarter, cleaner alternative waste technologies (AWT). The challenge now is for local councils to adopt AWT and for state governments to facilitate planning for the siting of regional AWTs. The Australian Government has also released a National Waste Policy (2009) 17 years after the last one was promulgated (and failed to reach its targets) - see also Waste and Recycling in Australia (2009).
TEC has played a very active role in the national and state debate:
ACOR-Boomerang submission to National Waste Policy and Appendices [2009, 1.12MB]
State of Waste In Victoria [2008, 525KB]
State of Waste In Queensland [2007, 427KB]
State of Waste In WA [2006, 1.24MB]
Potential Greenhouse Gas Liability of Landfill [2007, 816KB]
TEC commissioned two reports to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainable resource recovery market based instruments:
Market Based Instruments and Sustainable Resource Recovery [2004, 838KB]
Scenario Development for Market Based Instruments [2004, 330KB]
We have produced plans and advocated alternative waste treatment policies: