Addressing the Terms of Reference

On this page, I have addressed the first five terms of reference. I have referenced in the text where a recommendation results from a finding.

Term of Reference 1

Review the implementation of the No Waste by 2010 Strategy to date, having regard to the effectiveness and efficiency of actions taken, and assessment of outcomes.

Part A - Required action for the first two years

The "Making it Happen" section in the No Waste by 2010 strategy states that all 21 initiatives listed in the strategy will need to be implemented to achieve no waste by 2010. However, that section identifies only five specific initiatives to be implemented over the first two years following the launch of the strategy.

Those initiatives are set out below against the relevant Broad Actions and Broad Action programs.


Broad Actions and Broad Action programs Making it happen - the first 2 years

Community Committment - Information Programs and Community Support

Provide feedback to the community on the progress towards achieving No Waste by 2010

Avoidance and Reduction - Waste Inventory and Benchmarks

Avoidance and Reduction - Waste Inventory and Benchmarks

Set benchmarks to monitor performance towards achieving the 2010 target - Benchmarks projected to be available by December 1997

Resource Recovery - Resource Recovery Infrastructure - Resource Exchange Network

Prepare a development and implementation plan to establish infrastructure for resource recovery, particularly in developing Resource Recovery Estates incorporating waste minimisation education centres

Establish a resource exchange network to match wastes with resource requirements


Clearly, with five broad actions incorporating 13 programs and 21 initiatives, the requirement of the strategy left many initiatives to be commenced after the end of the second year into a 14 year strategy. In practice, within the first two years and to date, ACT Waste has initiated actions relating to a number of other programs. I have accordingly assessed progress by ACT Waste in terms of what was required, and then considered the additional actions in terms of progress towards implementation of the strategy.

Broad Action - Community Commitment

Program - Information Programs and Community Support

Note

Action required

  • Provide feedback to the community on the progress towards achieving No Waste by 2010 .

Action taken

  • * Preparation and distribution of Annual Progress Reports in 1997 and 1998.

In accordance with requirements, the first Annual Progress Report was produced in July 1997. On a trifold double-sided page, the progress report conveyed details of the strategy, its vision and background. It succinctly outlined progress on development of the waste inventory, the Infrastructure Action Plan, ACT Waste involvement in research and development and forthcoming activities. A chart showed progress in waste reduction since 1993-94.

The 1998 progress report followed a similar pattern. In both years, the progress reports were circulated on the internet and at public events such as Floriade, National Recycling Awareness Week and World Environment Day. The 1997 report was distributed to all ACT households. The 1998 report was available from ACT Government shopfronts and public libraries.

Broad Action - Avoidance and Reduction

Program - Waste Inventory and Benchmarks

Note

Action required

  • Develop a waste inventory and identify the full costs of each type of waste.

Action taken

  • * ACT Waste Inventory - June 1997
  • * Study of fees and charges at landfills and transfer stations by Eco Landuse Systems - December 1998.

In June 1997 ACT Waste produced the ACT Waste Inventory. This inventory was developed from surveys of solid wastes being recycled and disposed of in Canberra, Queanbeyan and surrounding areas. The surveys involved selecting and sampling of wastes from the following sectors:

  • Municipal Waste (both collected and privately delivered to landfill),
  • Commercial and Industrial Wastes
  • Building Demolition Waste
  • Domestic Recycling
  • Commercial/Industrial Recycling and
  • Building and Demolition Recycling.

Development of the Inventory included estimates of quantities, composition and sources of the wastes. Samples taken during the preparation of the Inventory were visually assessed for composition, with selected samples being separated into component materials and weighed. The proportions were applied against the 1995-96 data to arrive at an inventory of estimated waste to landfill at the commencement of the strategy.

For comparative purposes, the ACT Waste Inventory was produced to conform with the National Solid Waste Classification System. Table 3 contains the Estimated Composition of Waste to ACT Government Landfills during 1995-96. The classifications are more detailed than data on measured waste to landfill provided by ACT Waste for ACT State of the Environment Reports and in Table 1.

In December 1998 a study was conducted by Eco Landuse Systems into the fees charged at landfills and transfer stations for handling and processing/disposal of waste materials and recyclables. I believe this is not management for ecological sustainability, although it may have short-term economic and management benefits. I would prefer adherence to the strategy on this initiative.

Program - Waste Inventory and Benchmarks

Note

Action required

  • Set benchmarks to monitor performance towards achieving the 2010 target.

Action taken

  • * ACT Waste Inventory - June 1997
  • * ACT Recycling/Resource Recovery data
  • * Annual waste to landfill data

Identifying ACT data is fundamental to benchmarking for the strategy. Some service delivery benchmarks (based on data on recycling and annual waste to landfill) were established and progressive targets identified internally, but there has been little other progress against this required action to date.

living sustainably

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