There is growing recognition that waste has value. Discarded material from households, commercial premises and industrial sites is not merely considered rubbish but a useful resource that can be turned into new components, products and energy.

This report is structured into nine chapters:

  • Chapter one is the introduction.
  • Chapter two provides a brief overview of the waste management and recycling industry, and introduces two key concepts — the waste management hierarchy, and the circular economy.
  • Chapter three discusses the role of the Commonwealth Government in waste management and resource recovery and its recent policy announcements.
  • Chapter four sets out key impediments to innovation. In particular, it discusses system and policy issues identified by stakeholders to better support innovation.
  • Chapters five to eight focus on specific areas of interest including waste-to-energy technology, rural and regional Australia, and the textiles industry. Other areas examined include waterways and oceans, food and garden organic waste, medical waste and solar panels.
  • Chapter nine summarises a group of submissions that predominantly highlight practical ways for people to reduce, reuse and recycle domestic waste.

Case studies of waste management and recycling innovation are included throughout the report.

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