Independent review of the resource recovery framework

We commissioned an independent review of the resource recovery framework in 2021 and have started work to implement key reforms.

The resource recovery framework is the policy, regulatory and compliance framework administered by the EPA to facilitate beneficial resource recovery and circular economy outcomes. 

The objective of the review was to examine the existing NSW waste and resource recovery framework and to provide recommendations to us about how well the framework protects the environment and human health; how well the framework achieves beneficial resource recovery and facilitates circular economy outcomes; and the framework’s transparency, clarity, and enforceability.

The review was undertaken by Dr Cathy Wilkinson, former head of the Victorian EPA, and was informed by consultation with industry, government and community stakeholders.

Independent review report

Dr Wilkinson’s final report includes 22 recommendations to help refine and strengthen the resource recovery framework.

Download the report (PDF 582KB)

EPA response to the independent review

We considered the recommendations of the independent review report and released our response.

This response represents our commitment to strengthen the resource recovery framework in NSW, building on a range of work already underway. We also commit to continue the meaningful stakeholder engagement and consultation undertaken by both the EPA and Dr Wilkinson.

Download the EPA response (PDF 531KB)

Delivery plan

We have released our delivery plan, Towards a Circular Economy: enhancing the NSW resource recovery framework, to reform the state’s resource recovery framework, address the independent review's recommendations and to help the transition to a circular economy.

Priority actions include improving the clarity of guidance materials for orders and exemptions, developing an innovation pathway and investigating pathways to enable an end-of-waste outcome for suitable materials.

We are committed to genuine engagement with stakeholders to develop and implement practical solutions that will achieve genuine outcomes.

Download our delivery plan (PDF 531KB)

Next steps

We will engage with stakeholders on delivery plan actions. 

To express interest in engaging on the delivery plan or specific actions, email