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Waste generation and resource efficiency

Inquiry report

This inquiry report was released on 19 December 2006.

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  • Contents

Cover, Copyright, Terms of reference, Contents, Abbreviations and explanations, Glossary, Overview, Key points, Findings and recommendations

1 Introduction
1.1 Scope of the inquiry
1.2 Policy background
1.3 Conduct of the inquiry

2 Waste management in Australia
2.1 Trends in waste generation and disposal
2.2 Comparisons with other countries
2.3 The waste management industry

3 Government policy responses
3.1 National policy responses
3.2 State and Territory Government waste minimisation strategies

4 The costs and benefits of waste management
4.1 Taking a net community benefits approach
4.2 Waste collection
4.3 Waste disposal
4.4 Municipal recycling and resource recovery
4.5 Business waste recycling

5 The case for government intervention
5.1 Government intervention and market failure
5.2 Environmental and social impacts of waste disposal
5.3 Upstream environmental impacts
5.4 Sustainability issues
5.5 Government delivery of waste services
5.6 Other arguments for government intervention

6 A waste policy framework
6.1 Policy principles
6.2 Policy coordination

7 The waste hierarchy and target setting
7.1 The waste hierarchy
7.2 Targets

8 Regulation
8.1 Principles of good regulation
8.2 Waste avoidance and resource recovery
8.3 Waste collection and transport
8.4 Waste sorting, treatment and processing
8.5 Waste disposal
8.6 Litter and illegal dumping

9 Market-based instruments
9.1 Landfill levies
9.2 Unit pricing of waste disposal
9.3 Advance disposal and recycling fees
9.4 Deposit-refund schemes
9.5 Subsidies
9.6 Tradeable property rights

10 Extended producer responsibility and product stewardship
10.1 What are EPR and PS?
10.2 Why not just target final consumers?
10.3 Potential models for implementing EPR and PS
10.4 Recent policy developments
10.5 When is EPR or PS likely to deliver a net benefit?
10.6 Problems with specific schemes
10.7 Problems with specific schemes

11 Government information provision and procurement practices
11.1 Information and moral suasion instruments
11.2 Government procurement programs

12 Institutional and regulatory impediments to waste management
12.1 Are governance arrangements adequate?
12.2 Who should be responsible for waste management?
12.3 Improving waste definitions and classifications
12.4 Other regulatory impediments
12.5 International agreements

13 Performance measurement
13.1 What are performance indicators?
13.2 Performance indicators for waste management policy
13.3 Improved data collection

14 The main issues and the way forward
14.1 The objectives and focus of waste management policy
14.2 The Commission's preferred policy framework
14.3 Adjustment issues
14.4 Role of the Australian Government
14.5 Concluding remarks

A Conduct of the Inquiry

B Environmental and other externalities associated with waste
B.1 Estimating external costs and benefits
B.2 Downstream externalities
B.3 Upstream externalities

C Case studies of three Australian product stewardship schemes
C.1 Waste oil
C.2 Consumer packaging
C.3 Newsprint

D EPHC National Waste Framework