Election Time and Waste Stream Management – By Geoff Pryor

Election Time and Waste Stream Management

This time of the year in 2019 has been one of elections. In NSW the previous Coalition government has just been returned to office while the Federal Government elections have just been announced. How might this set of circumstances impact upon companies and waste stream management?

In NSW, just before the elections, a policy was confirmed by the then Government dealing with what is called ‘The circular economy’. The policy was entitled ‘Too Good to Waste’. In brief this policy is about a zero-waste goal although expressed in terms of changing the way “we produce, assemble, sell and use products to minimise waste and reduce our environmental impact.”.

The Federal Government is responsible for a national waste policy. Here in brief is what this policy is about:

“The 2018 National Waste Policy provides a framework for collective action by businesses, governments, communities and individuals until 2030.

The policy identifies five overarching principles underpinning waste management in a circular economy. These include:

  • Avoid waste
  • Improve resource recovery
  • Increase use of recycled material and build demand and markets for recycled products
  • Better manage material flows to benefit human health, the environment and the economy
  • Improve information to support innovation, guide investment and enable informed consumer decisions.”

The underlying theme here is reduced waste and minimising waste streams.


These government policy actions make it very clear that waste stream management is an issue of significance. Governments are responding to ever more pressing community concerns. We see the manifestations of this community concern through calls for banning single use plastic bags, the elimination of plastic straws, concerns about plastic in the oceans, coffee cup re-use and organics materials not going to landfill.


The SRBEC has been an Environment Department Authority grantee for several years now for what is called the Bin Trim program – a free program to businesses to assist them manage their waste streams. The SRBEC is, through its networks and this Bin Trim program, now working with other groups to develop solutions for companies to their waste stream issues. For example, working with the Low Carbon Living Southern Highlands group, we have a step wise process for companies to get recognition for having a light impact upon the local environment. Another example is helping a small company in the Bega Valley Shire establish a waste collection business with the aim of producing quality compost based on marine and green waste streams.


The SRBEC can provide companies with a range of advice around effective business operations including how to be smart around waste stream management and even the potential for new business development utilising waste stream materials.


For more information please contact

Geoff Pryor, Manager SRBEC Bin Trim Program, on: 02 6297 3121