Productivity Commission Report No. 38
562 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2007
Date Written: October 2006
The Productivity Commission's inquiry report into 'Waste Management' was released in December 2006.
The Australian Government asked the Commission to identify policies that would enable Australia to address market failures and externalities associated with the generation and disposal of waste, and recommend how resource efficiencies can be optimised to improve economic, environmental and social outcomes. In the final report, the Commission maintains that waste management policy should be refocused on the environmental and social impacts of waste collection and disposal. The Commission noted that policy makers and community attitudes will need to be guided by more open and rigorous analysis of costs, benefits and risks, if waste management measures are to best serve the community. The Commission also recommends that the Australian Government play a leadership role in facilitating relevant reforms and in developing sound, nationally consistent waste management policies. The Commission makes further recommendations in several other areas including target setting, landfill regulation, disposal charges and levies, product stewardship, government procurement and performance indicators.
The Commission's findings and recommendations are categorised under the following headings: waste management in Australia; the costs and benefits of waste; the case for government intervention; a waste policy framework; the waste hierarchy and target setting; regulation; market-based instruments; extended producer responsibility and product stewardship; Government information provision and procurement; institutional and regulatory impediments to resource recovery; and performance measurement.
Keywords: Environmental management, Environmental impact, Environmental protection, Environmental policy, Energy policy, Free trade, Free trade agreements, Minerals, Pulp and paper industry, Recyclable products, Recycling, Storage, Sustainable development, Waste
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