National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Waste Minimisation and Management
Part 3 Intersectoral Issues - Chapter 19


To improve the efficiency with which resources are used and reduce the impact on the environment of waste disposal, and to improve the management of hazardous wastes, avoid their generation and address clean-up issues.

Strategic Approach

In order to develop an effective approach, governments will seek to develop an integrated approach to waste prevention and minimisation, based on a hierarchy of measures at both the government and industry level. These measures will include actions to achieve cleaner production, reduced use of resources, recycling and reuse. In addition, attempts will be made to develop a common approach to waste management programs between various jurisdictions.

Objective 19.1

  • to improve the efficiency of resource use and reduce the impact on the environment of waste disposal

Governments will:

  • seek to develop improved means for providing support for local councils for increased recycling activity including kerbside recycling collections, and planning and operation of landfill disposal sites
  • work towards introduction of pricing and charging structures which adequately reflect the full economic and environmental costs of waste disposal, while assisting the funding of rehabilitation and maintenance of facilities for waste disposal
  • work to ensure the costs associated with changing waste management practices does not fall disproportionately on industry and local authorities
  • encourage greater levels of involvement by industry in recycling activities and recognise the contribution already being made by industry in this area
  • have regard to the principles and recommendations in the National Waste Minimisation and Recycling Strategy and the Industry Commission's report on recycling
  • provide further support for the development of whole-life-cycle methodologies and a methodology for full social cost pricing of landfill and waste disposal facilities, taking into account social equity considerations in charges for waste disposal
  • develop methodologies for the evaluation and assessment of the costs and benefits of various options for waste minimisation
  • develop indicative targets for waste reduction
  • at the Commonwealth level, continue work on development of a national pollutant inventory

Objective 19.2

  • to avoid the generation of hazardous wastes, improve management of those wastes which are generated and improve mechanisms for their clean up

Governments will:

  • assess recommendations on the range of technologies available for the destruction of intractable wastes and decide on the preferred options, and appropriate regulatory and legislative mechanisms for the control of intractable wastes
  • cooperatively work towards early finalisation and adoption of a national approach to regulation of intractable wastes and a memorandum of understanding for their management
  • undertake a siting study to identify a short list of suitable sites for a repository of low-level radioactive wastes
  • have regard to the guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Contaminated Sites
  • through ANZECC, give further consideration to the issue of liability for clean-up of contaminated sites, including the issue of generating a public register of contaminated sites