Created over 18 months in consultation with industry and state and territory governments, the new Australian standard for waste and resource recovery data and reporting will provide a common reference point for waste-related data, including nationally consistent definitions, concepts and classifications (such as for materials and types of infrastructure).
To a significant extent, state and territory data systems have developed independently to date, with each having its own set of classifications, terminology and reporting systems that may be embedded in their respective legislation, policy, regulation and licences. Differences between these systems can increase costs and uncertainty for national waste businesses, make it harder to align state and territory policies, and increase the difficulty in compiling national reports and data sets.
The national standard aims to harmonise systems across all states and territories to improve consistency and accuracy of measurements and reporting of waste generation and management in Australia. Included in the standard are material classifications and clear definitions of waste-related terminology to clarify actual or potential ambiguity in national conversations on waste data, as well as guidelines for voluntary reporting by states, territories and other data providers.
Who will use the standard?
The national standard is designed to help those who generate, collect, collate, transform and report data from waste receiving facilities, including:
states and territories
industry bodies that collect and use waste data
regional waste management groups
consultants, academics and analysts
What does the standard cover?
The standard builds on the Australian hazardous waste data and reporting standard established in 2017. It’s intended to drive reporting at all levels of the waste hierarchy, from waste avoidance through to disposal, however, this first iteration has little focus on the higher levels of the hierarchy. The standard is expected to develop over time to encompass circular economy measures and issues.
To learn more about the new standard, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website.