Adelaide today plays host to a Senate Committee inquiring into the management of Australia’s waste streams.
Today’s is the first of four public hearings – in four different cities – being held as part of an inquiry initiated by South Australian Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham with a wide brief to examine how Australia manages its waste.
Senator Birmingham said the inquiry had been prompted by the failure of Labor federal and state governments to reach consensus on a national approach towards both the planned phase out of plastic bags and container deposit legislation.
“We need to be taking an holistic approach to the issue of waste management, rather than the Government’s piecemeal approach of picking off plastic bags or pursuing container deposit legislation in isolation,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“As policy makers, we need to be examining the use of natural resources, litter and landfill and how best to minimise greenhouse emissions, and then move on those initiatives that will make the greatest difference.
“I’m confident this inquiry will provide valuable information towards taking the holistic approach necessary as we manage waste as part of protecting the environment.”
As well as hearing from organisations such as KESAB, Zero Waste South Australia and Recyclers of South Australia, Senators will today visit Solo Resource Recovery’s Adelaide Waste and Recycling Centre at North Plympton. This integrated resource recovery centre processes upwards of 250,000 tonnes of waste per annum.
The inquiry, being conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts, has particular reference to:
  1. trends in waste production in Australia across household, consumer, commercial and industrial waste streams;
  2. effectiveness of existing strategies to reduce, recover or reuse waste from different waste streams;
  3. potential new strategies to reduce, recover or reuse waste from different waste streams;
  4. the economic, environmental and social benefits and costs of such strategies;
  5. policy priorities to maximise the efficiency and efficacy of efforts to reduce, recover or reuse waste from different waste streams; and
  6. consideration of the Drink Container Recycling Bill 2008.
Today’s hearing starts at 9.00am at the Mercure Grosvenor Hotel, 125 North Terrace, Adelaide.
Further details of the inquiry, including submissions, hearing dates and agendas, can be found at