Waste industry challenges

Written by BINGO INDUSTRIES Published on 13th December 2019

Bingo Industries

Australia’s waste industry

Recent shifts in both international and domestic policy, changes in global supply chains and an increase in public scrutiny has seen a growing pressure on Australia’s waste industry . Recycling and waste management is now one of the biggest social issues facing not only Australians, but people all around the globe.

At BINGO, we want to create change. We want to combat Australia’s waste crisis with smart, forward-thinking and sustainable actions—because the changes we make today will make a difference, and continue to impact Aussies for generations to come.

Over the past two years, BINGO has invested significantly in developing new, advanced recycling facilities. We’ve also invested heavily in industry regulation compliance, with a focus on mitigating future risk, and uncovering opportunities for sustainable growth of the waste management industry.

Responding to the challenges facing our industry

As scrutiny of our industry increases, it’s important for waste management facilities to be proactive about change.

With the updated National Waste Policy, the increase of state-based and circular economy policies, the reintroduction of Queensland’s waste levy, and China’s import restrictions on waste, it’s clear waste management is at the forefront of government and community consideration. 

A national approach to waste disposal levies

It’s simple: Australia needs a consistent waste disposal levy across our states. While we applaud the Queensland Government’s recent reintroduction of a waste disposal levy of $75 per tonne earlier this year, the disparity of levies between states creates an arbitrage—especially when Victoria’s waste levy presently sits at $64 per tonne, making it the lowest rate on Australian mainland.

A consistent approach to waste levies across Australian states will:
  • Encourage recycling.
  • Increase incentive for investment in recycling technology and resource recovery.
  • Encourage the diversion of waste from landfill.
  • Ensure waste remains in the state it was produced.
  • Move Australia towards international best practice.

Increasing non-compliance penalties

While we acknowledge the efforts of NSW and VIC regulators in reducing the incidences of rogue operators, we believe tougher non-compliance penalties and increased enforcement are integral for the waste management industry.

Increasing penalties and fines, and introducing civil penalties for non-compliance and illegal dumping will have a huge impact on the industry’s effectiveness and sustainability.
Bingo Industries

Creating a market for recycled products

It’s critical we establish a strong market for recycled products—and the state and federal governments
have a leading role to play. For example, increasing the percent of recycled materials required to be
used on all state and federal infrastructure and construction projects—and potentially, other public and private projects—would significantly help in establishing a sustainable market for recycled products, and promote further investment in recycling industries.

It will also:
  • Result in more materials covered from waste.
  • Support businesses that develop products from waste.
  • Ensure valuable resources aren’t taken to landfill.
  • Reward sustainable environmental action.

Mandatory auditing of recovery rates

Our industry needs transparency—and we believe mandatory, objective verification of recovery rates
is required. At BINGO, we’re proud to have our recovery rates independently verified by an objective third party. We believe this transparency should be mandatory, and is key to lifting the standards of waste reporting and compliance, leading to better-quality recovered materials and more waste organisations doing the right thing.

The role of waste-to-energy in the waste hierarchy

Waste-to-energy has a very important role to play in the waste management industry. 
There will always be residual waste that cannot be recovered. Currently in Australia, the only viable option for this waste is to send it to landfill. Waste-to-energy policies must be considered to ensure a more sustainable future, where up to 90% of Australian waste could be diverted from landfill. 

Benefits of waste-to-energy include:
  • More power generated from waste residue
  • A net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improved diversion of waste from landfill
  • Increase resource recovery
  • Extract value from residual waste

Want to find out more about challenges facing the Australian waste industry? Download our Sustainability Report for 2019.

Sustainability Report for 2019

Want to find out more about challenges facing the Australian waste industry?

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