The Victorian Government asked us to provide advice on competition, system-level resilience, service quality and greater transparency in the waste and resource recovery sector.
Waste and recycling services review 2019
Provide initial adviceOctober 2019
Commence stage 2May 2020
Provide final adviceSeptember 2020
The Victorian Government asked us to provide advice on how to address issues of competition, system-level resilience, service quality and greater transparency in the waste and resource recovery sector.
In October 2019, we provided initial confidential high-level options for the design of a regulatory regime for the waste and recycling sector to address issues of competition, service quality and transparency.
In response, the government has asked us to provide further advice on legislative options and explore potential governance arrangements.
Our advice considered:
- the full costs and benefits of options to make waste and resource recovery more transparent, and ensure councils provide these services to expected standards
- how a new statutory framework could address identified inadequacies in the sector, and how the government should regulate it.
We undertook targeted consultation with stakeholders before providing our confidential final advice to the government in September 2020.
Issues facing the waste and resource recovery sector
The waste and resource recovery sector provide important services for public health and environmental protection, with waste and recycling facilities owned by private operators and local government.
Recent market disruptions have significantly affected many waste services, including Victoria's kerbside recycling system. The significant decline in the value of many recovered materials has reduced processors' revenue and affected the viability of kerbside services under existing price arrangements.
Limited availability of alternative recycling markets, combined with limited capacity of the recycling industry to locally process or safely stockpile recyclables has resulted in further issues, including:
- recyclable materials being sent to landfill
- temporary suspension of kerbside collection in some councils
- increased cost to households
- increased cost to government to clean up stockpiles and contaminated sites.
Terms of reference
In April 2020, the Victorian Government provided terms of reference for our further advice on waste and resource recovery services.