The National Waste Policy, released in 2018, and National Waste Policy Action Plan, released December 2019, have fundamentally changed the expectations on Government departments in the way they consider waste management. The National Action Plan includes a number of principles and targets focussed on a circular economy, which has equal focus on procurement and materials recovery.
Defence has developed a Waste and Sustainable Procurement Program (Table 1) to support the Government’s waste and recycling agenda. The program has four objectives:
Defence has embedded the requirements of the National Waste Policy, National Waste Action Plan and export ban, into the Defence Environment and Heritage Manual (internal only), Chapter 12: Waste and Recycled Materials
Defence can apply waste minimisation principles in two distinct areas of its business; in procurement and operations. Defence has significant purchasing power and can make a significant contribution to stimulate the effective use of resources, most notably recycled content products produced by markets and service providers and waste avoidance through consideration of packaging and avoidance of single use items. Options also exist for Defence to reuse, recycle or recover waste materials or assets that are generated in day-to-day operation, including construction through the Base Services Contract and other stewardship schemes.
To find out more, contact the Directorate of Environmental, Resource Management and Sustainability (DERMS).