Australia’s National Waste Policy: A Business Roadmap

By:     Kieran Donnelly

Australia’s National Waste Policy presents a vital framework for businesses in managing waste and promoting recycling. This government-led policy outlines ambitious targets for sustainable waste handling, driving businesses towards innovative recycling methods and compliance with new environmental regulations. It’s a key guide for those adapting to a more sustainable, resource-efficient approach, essential in Australia’s journey towards reduced waste and a circular economy by 2030.

Targets and Actions

The National Waste Policy of Australia, along with its 2019 Action Plan, represents a robust and strategic approach to waste management and resource recovery. It reflects a significant commitment by the Australian government to address the challenges of waste management in a sustainable and efficient manner. Here are some key aspects and implications of this policy:

Ambitious Targets for Waste Reduction and Recovery: The policy sets specific goals, such as reducing total waste generated per person by 10% by 2030 and achieving an 80% average recovery rate from all waste streams by the same year. These targets are ambitious and signal a strong commitment to reducing waste and enhancing recycling and recovery efforts.

Ban on Waste Exports: The ban on exporting waste plastic, paper, glass, and tyres, effective from the second half of 2020, is a significant move. It encourages Australia to manage its waste domestically, fostering the development of local recycling and recovery industries and reducing dependence on overseas waste processing.

Promotion of Recycled Content: The policy’s emphasis on increasing the use of recycled content by governments and industry is crucial for creating a market for recycled materials. This not only supports recycling industries but also encourages sustainable practices in production and manufacturing sectors.

Phasing Out Problematic Plastics: The goal to phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025 addresses environmental concerns, particularly the issue of plastic pollution. It shows a commitment to finding sustainable alternatives and reducing the ecological footprint of plastic products.

Organic Waste Management: Halving the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030 is a significant step towards reducing methane emissions from landfills and promoting the use of organic waste in more productive ways, such as composting or bioenergy.

Data-Driven Approach: Ensuring the availability of comprehensive, economy-wide data supports informed decision-making. This is critical for assessing the progress of waste reduction and recovery efforts, identifying areas for improvement, and formulating evidence-based policies.

Implications for Industry and Society: The policy requires cooperation and commitment from various stakeholders, including government, industry, and the general public. It encourages innovation in waste management technologies and practices, potentially leading to new economic opportunities and jobs in the recycling and waste management sector.

Environmental and Health Benefits: By focusing on waste reduction and enhanced recovery, the policy contributes to the broader goal of environmental conservation and public health. Reducing landfill waste and promoting recycling helps in conserving natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting ecosystems.

Complementary Efforts

The plan complements and supports the implementation of better waste management and circular economy plans by:

State and Territory Governments: These entities play a crucial role in implementing and enforcing waste management policies. Their efforts include developing regional strategies that align with national objectives, providing funding and resources for waste management initiatives, and ensuring that local needs and conditions are addressed. They can also help businesses and communities to adopt more sustainable waste practices through regulations, grants, and educational programs.

Local Government: At the local level, governments are responsible for the practical aspects of waste collection, management, and education for residents and local businesses. They are often the first point of contact for the public in terms of waste disposal and recycling. By implementing local waste management strategies, they ensure the objectives of the National Waste Policy are met on the ground. This includes initiatives like community recycling programs, local waste reduction campaigns, and the provision of waste management facilities.

Businesses and Industry: The private sector has a significant role to play in achieving the goals of the National Waste Policy. This includes adopting sustainable practices in their operations, such as reducing waste generation, using recycled materials, and designing products for longer life and easier recycling. Businesses can also innovate in waste processing technologies and collaborate in industry-wide initiatives to promote a circular economy.

Recent Updates

Acknowledgement of Progress: The ministers’ recognition of the advancements in waste management and recycling indicates that the initiatives and strategies outlined in the National Waste Policy are being effectively implemented. This progress is a testament to the collaborative efforts of state and territory governments, local governments, businesses, and the industry.

Plan Expansion and Strengthening Efforts: The decision to expand the plan and reinforce Australia’s commitment towards the 2030 targets demonstrates a proactive and adaptive approach to waste management. This expansion is crucial not only for meeting the existing goals but also for addressing emerging challenges and optimising the strategies for better outcomes.

Adapting to Current Challenges: The updates to the plan consider the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters on supply chains and resources. This aspect is particularly important as the pandemic and natural disasters have significantly disrupted global and local supply chains, affecting recycling and waste management operations. Adapting the policy to these challenges ensures that the waste management strategies remain relevant and effective under changing circumstances.

Focus on Sustainable Supply Chains: The emphasis on addressing the impacts on supply chains highlights the importance of building resilient and sustainable supply chains. This includes ensuring the continuity of recycling activities and managing waste efficiently even in the face of disruptions caused by pandemics or natural disasters.

Long-Term Vision and Flexibility: The updates reflect a long-term vision that is adaptable to unforeseen challenges. By being flexible and responsive to current global and local issues, Australia can ensure that its waste management and recycling efforts are not only effective in the short term but also sustainable in the long run.


The 2021 Progress Summary Report, outlining the achievements in the first two years of the National Waste Policy’s implementation, provides valuable insights into Australia’s strides in waste management and recycling. This report serves as a benchmark for evaluating the effectiveness of the policy and understanding the progress made towards the set targets. Key achievements likely highlighted in the report include:

Implementation of Policy Actions: The report probably details how various actions outlined in the National Waste Policy have been implemented. This could include steps taken by different levels of government and the private sector to meet the policy’s objectives.

Advancements in Recycling and Waste Reduction: Specific advancements in recycling processes, waste reduction techniques, and the development of new waste management technologies are likely featured. These advancements are critical to achieving the policy’s ambitious targets.

Collaboration and Partnerships: The report might emphasise the collaborative efforts between state and territory governments, local governments, businesses, and industries. Such collaboration is essential for the policy’s success, given its wide-ranging impact and the need for coordinated action.

Response to Policy Challenges: The report could discuss how challenges encountered in the early stages of the policy’s implementation were addressed. This includes adapting strategies to meet the unique needs of different regions and sectors.

Impact on Environmental Sustainability: Achievements in terms of environmental sustainability, such as reductions in landfill waste, increases in recycled material use, and improvements in sustainable waste management practices, are likely key highlights.

Economic and Social Benefits: The report may also cover the economic and social benefits realised from the policy, such as job creation in the recycling sector, economic growth through new waste management technologies, and enhanced community engagement in sustainable practices.

Data and Metrics: The incorporation of data and metrics to measure progress would be a crucial component of the report, providing a quantitative basis for evaluating the effectiveness of the policy and guiding future actions.

Roadmap for Future Actions: Finally, the report would likely outline the roadmap for future actions and strategies to continue advancing towards the 2030 targets, ensuring ongoing progress and adaptation to new challenges and opportunities.

How does Gradeall help with australia’s national waste?

Gradeall, a company specialising in waste management equipment, plays a vital role in supporting Australia’s National Waste Policy. Let’s explore how Gradeall contributes:

  1. Advanced Waste Handling Equipment:
  • Balers and Compactors: Gradeall designs and manufactures balers and compactors that facilitate efficient waste handling. These machines compress recyclable materials, reducing their volume and making transportation more cost-effective.
    • Waste Sorting Systems: Gradeall’s sorting systems help segregate different types of waste, enabling better recycling and resource recovery.
  1. Resource Recovery and Recycling:
  • Maximising Recovery: Gradeall’s equipment ensures that valuable resources are recovered from waste streams. By promoting recycling and reusing materials, they align with the policy’s goal of increasing resource recovery.
    • Circular Economy: Their solutions contribute to the circular economy by minimising waste and promoting closed-loop systems.
  1. Collaboration and Education:
  2. Working with Businesses and Governments: Gradeall collaborates with businesses, local governments, and state authorities to implement effective waste management practices.

Equipment Gradeall Offers

MK2 Tyre baler

The Gradeall MK2 Tyre Baler is an innovative solution in the recycling and waste management industry, particularly in handling end-of-life tyres. This machine is engineered to significantly enhance the efficiency of tyre recycling through several key features:

  • High Output Capacity: The MK2 is capable of producing up to 6 PAS108 compliant tyre bales per hour, with each bale containing between 400-500 tyres. This high-capacity output is particularly important for handling large volumes of waste tyres efficiently.
  • Volume Reduction: One of the most notable features of the MK2 is its ability to reduce tyre volume by up to 80%. This substantial reduction drastically improves the efficiency of both transport and storage, addressing two major challenges in tyre recycling.
  • Compliance with PAS108: The fact that the bales produced are PAS108 compliant is significant. This standard ensures that the bales meet certain specifications in terms of size and weight, making them suitable for a variety of further processing applications.
  • Facilitating Tyre Recycling: The baling process makes it easier to transport end-of-life tyres to various processing venues, such as construction projects, civil engineering sites, shredding facilities, pyrolysis plants, and energy recovery plants. By compacting the tyres into manageable bales, the MK2 opens up more opportunities for recycled tyres to be used in productive ways.
  • Global Distribution: The worldwide supply of the Gradeall MK2 indicates its effectiveness and the global demand for efficient tyre recycling solutions. Its adoption across different countries underscores its versatility and reliability in various operating environments.
  • Ideal for Various Users: The machine is particularly well-suited for tyre collectors, recycling centers, vehicle dismantlers, and tyre depots. Its design and capabilities make it a valuable tool for any operation involved in the collection or processing of waste tyres.
  • Environmental Impact: By enhancing the efficiency of tyre recycling, the MK2 plays a critical role in environmental conservation. It helps in reducing the environmental footprint of waste tyres, which are a significant challenge due to their bulk and non-biodegradability.

The Gradeall MK2 Tyre Baler represents a significant advancement in the handling and recycling of waste tyres. Its ability to produce high volumes of PAS108 compliant bales efficiently makes it a key tool in the global effort to manage tyre waste more effectively and sustainably.


The Gradeall G120 Static Waste Compactor is a robust and efficient solution designed for large-scale waste management needs. It’s particularly suited for entities that deal with high volumes of waste, such as large businesses and councils. Let’s delve into its key aspects:

  • Designed for High-Volume Waste Management: The G120 is built to handle significant amounts of waste, making it an ideal choice for large businesses and councils. Its capacity to manage high volumes efficiently is crucial for entities that generate more waste than typical commercial compactors can handle.
  • Large and Robust Construction: The ‘static’ nature of the G120 implies that it is a fixed installation, built to be sturdy and durable. This is essential for withstanding the rigors of compacting large quantities of waste on a regular basis.
  • Safety and Reliability: Given its application in environments where it will be used frequently and intensively, the G120 is designed with safety and reliability in mind. Ensuring that such a machine operates safely is crucial, not only to protect the operators but also to maintain a consistent workflow without interruptions due to mechanical failures.
  • Efficiency in Waste Compaction: The G120 likely maximises the density of waste compacted, which is vital for reducing the volume of waste. This efficiency is beneficial in reducing transportation costs and frequency, as more waste can be transported at once.
  • Environmental Considerations: By compacting large volumes of waste, the G120 contributes to more efficient waste management practices. Reduced volume means fewer trips for waste collection vehicles, which in turn can lead to a decrease in carbon emissions and a lower environmental footprint.
  • Adaptability to Various Waste Types: While specific details about its adaptability are not mentioned, machines like the G120 are typically designed to handle a range of waste materials, making them versatile tools in waste management.

The Gradeall G120 Static Waste Compactor is a powerful tool for large businesses and councils facing the challenge of managing high volumes of waste. Its design focuses on efficiency, safety, and reliability, making it a valuable asset in modern waste management strategies, especially in scenarios where waste generation is significantly high.


The Gradeall GPC P24 is a sophisticated and versatile wet waste portable compactor, designed to address the specific challenges of handling and compacting wet waste materials. Its features make it particularly suitable for businesses and facilities that deal with large volumes of wet, malodorous waste, such as food and organic matter. Here’s an overview of its key characteristics:

  • Large Wet Waste Compaction Capacity: With a substantial 24 cubic meter container capacity, the GPC P24 offers an impressive volume for waste compaction, making it suitable for locations that generate significant amounts of wet waste.
  • RORO (Roll On Roll Off) Design: The GPC P24 is a RORO compactor, equipped with a large hook lift point. This feature allows it to be easily lifted and transported by any CHEM compliant hook lift lorry, enhancing its portability and convenience for various waste management scenarios.
  • Twin Ram Pendulum Head: This unique feature concentrates pressure on the waste, maximising the compaction efficiency. It’s particularly effective for compacting wet and malodorous waste, making it ideal for handling food and organic waste.
  • Handling of Offensive Waste: The fully sealed design of the compactor ensures that it can effectively deal with smelly and potentially vermin-attracting waste. This is critical for maintaining hygiene and environmental standards, especially when dealing with perishing food items.
  • Self-Cleaning Head: The self-cleaning pendulum head prevents blockages and ensures that the compaction area remains clean and operational. This feature is essential for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of the machine.
  • Liquid Retentive Design: Its design has been tested for liquid retention, which is vital for ensuring no leakage of effluent from the compacted waste. This feature is crucial for wet waste applications to prevent environmental contamination.
  • Onboard Telemetry: The GPC P24 includes Intelli-Fill internet connectivity and a remote monitoring system, providing vital statistics and service information. This technology enhances operational efficiency and allows for better management and maintenance of the compactor.
  • Customisable Options: The compactor offers various additional features like bin lifts, drainage ports, deodorising systems, and other bespoke options, making it adaptable to different wet waste management needs.

The Gradeall GPC P24 Portable Wet Waste Compactor is an advanced solution for the efficient and hygienic handling of large volumes of wet waste. Its combination of large capacity, RORO convenience, effective compaction technology, and customisable options make it an ideal choice for companies processing substantial amounts of wet, organic, or offensive waste.

In summary, businesses can play a crucial role by embracing sustainable waste management practices, supporting circular economy initiatives, and contributing to Australia’s waste reduction goals. Creating a blog that educates and encourages businesses to align with the National Waste Policy can be a valuable step toward positive change!

Stacked aluminium bales ready for recycling, produced by a high-capacity can baler.

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