20-Year Waste Strategy for NSW

NSW needs a new blueprint for how we deal with waste – one that is sustainable, reliable, and affordable. The EPA is helping lead its development.

The 20-year Waste Strategy brings together a whole-of-government initiative for NSW. The Strategy will provide a long-term strategic focus where communities, industry and all levels of government are working together to build resilient services and markets for waste resources.

To do this we will need

  • to value our resources so we use and reuse them for longer
  • new technological and service solutions that realise more value from our waste and avoid or lessen the environmental costs of waste generation and disposal
  • our waste and resource recovery systems and services to operate flexibly so they can adapt to changes in technology, economic activity and the way communities use their living and public places.

Our focus for the 20-Year Waste Strategy and accompanying policies is sustainability, reliability and affordability.

Sustainable means

  • reducing environmental and human health risks associated with waste generation, processing, treatment and disposal
  • encouraging waste to be viewed as a resource

Reliable means

  • securing reliable waste services across metropolitan and regional communities.

Affordable means

  • promoting value-add opportunities to improve the cost-competitiveness of recovered materials
  • managing waste more efficiently and orienting the waste sector to drive better value through recovery and re-manufacture of higher-quality materials.

The 20-Year Waste Strategy will contribute towards NSW’s realisation of a circular economy in which resources are valued by keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible.

The 20-Year Waste Strategy issues paper

An issues paper, Cleaning Up Our Act: The Future for Waste and Resource Recovery in NSW, was released in March and April 2020 for public consultation, to help shape the development of the 20-Year Waste Strategy.  

At the same time, the NSW Government released a discussion paper, Cleaning Up Our Act: Redirecting the Future of Plastic in NSW to inform the NSW Plastics Plan to address the priority need to reduce plastic waste. The Plan will form part of the 20-Year Waste Strategy and contain specific measures to manage plastic waste and pollution in NSW.

The NSW Government is currently reviewing the feedback received.

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