Waste definitions and classifications: report on issues, opportunities and information gaps

Hyder Consulting, 2013

About the report

The report Waste definitions and classifications: report on issues, opportunities and information gaps summarises previous work and identifies and explores key issues concerning current waste classification and definition systems. The report provides an up to date evidence based account of existing systems and recommends where further work to harmonise systems could be concentrated. Specifically, the report will help readers:

  • understand the numerous waste classification and definition systems used in Australia to help comprehend the complexity of the current arrangements.
  • understand where there are gaps and inconsistencies in these waste classification and definition systems and the issues that this can cause. For example, there are differences in the definitions of key terms such as 'waste' and 'hazardous waste' across the jurisdictions and this can impact on markets for waste derived resources.
  • identify where there may be opportunities for harmonising these systems. For example, aligning the classification of the material with equivalent treatment and transport facilities would reduce confusion in the transport and disposal of waste. These opportunities give a suggested starting point for scoping options.

This report contributes to Strategy 4 of the National Waste Policy: Less waste, more resources which aims to introduce a national definition and classification system for wastes. The report was commissioned by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.