Territory and Municipal Services


The ACT Waste Management Strategy

The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate has released an updated ACT Waste Management Strategy.

Developed in consultation with the community, the ACT Waste Management Strategy 2011–2025 sets a clear direction for the management of waste in the ACT towards 2025.

The ACT was the first government in the world to set a goal of achieving no waste going to landfill. Launched in 1996, the Waste Management Strategy for Canberra was developed to set the vision and future directions for waste management in the Australian Capital Territory. The 1996 Waste Management Strategy for Canberra (PDF 133KB ) was the result of extensive community consultation which identified a strong desire to achieve a waste free society.

The strategy outlined objectives including the Canberra community working to reduce the amount of waste that they produce and for waste to be viewed as a resource, rather than garbage to be thrown into a landfill.

The strategy established a framework for sustainable resource management and lists broad actions which are needed to achieve the aim of a waste-free society. These include:

  • community commitment
  • avoidance and reduction
  • resource recovery
  • residual waste management
  • creative solutions.

Turning Waste into Resources

The ACT Waste Management Strategy cannot succeed without the full support of the wider community as it requires a culture shift, from thinking of unwanted materials as waste to be discarded, to thinking of unwanted materials as resources to be recovered. A range of strategies such as facilitating the development of alternatives to disposal, appropriate waste pricing and/or the development of regulation are needed to effectively reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to maximise recovery. Waste generators need to take responsibility for the wastes they produce and this requires cultural and attitudinal change that can only be achieved through targeted community engagement, partnership and education programs.

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