ACT Government action on waste

ACT Waste Management Strategy

To get to a carbon-neutral Canberra, the Government has created the ACT Waste Management Strategy 2011–2025. It has these four key objectives:

  • less waste generated
  • full resource recovery
  • clean environment
  • carbon-neutral waste sector.

It also includes 29 strategies covering waste from households, commercial and industrial operations, construction and demolition sector, garden organics and timber waste from urban forest and street tree management. With the strategy, the ACT Government aims to:

  • Reduce the amount of waste generated per capita.
  • Reduce the amount of total waste ending up in landfill (called resource recovery) to more than 80% by 2015, 85% by 2020 and 90% by 2025
  • Lead Australia in low rates of litter and illegal dumping.
  • Double the amount of energy generated from waste by 2020.
  • Increase recovery of organic waste resources by 2020.

The ACT Government has already achieved a great deal under the strategy, including by:

  • banning single-use plastic shopping bags
  • ensuring best practice methane capture to generate electricity from methane at West Belconnen and Mugga Lane landfills
  • reusing more resources by expanding the Green Shed reclaimed goods shops and bulky waste collection operations (free for concession card households)
  • expanding Actsmart sustainability education programs, including the Actsmart Business Recycling program and Actsmart Public Event Recycling program to increase recycling and composting
  • installing recycling bins in public places in Civic
  • targeting community waste education campaigns, including interesting and informative tours.

ACT Waste Feasibility Study

The ACT Government is looking at ways to:

  • reduce the amount of waste we generate
  • maximise recycling and reuse
  • minimise the amount we send to landfill.

The Government is doing this through the ACT Waste Feasibility Study. The study will recommend how the Government can meet its targets of more than 90% resource recovery by 2025 and a carbon neutral waste sector by 2020.

Australian Packaging Covenant

The ACT Government has signed the Australian Packaging Covenant, which is about smarter and more sustainable packaging, less packaging waste and a cleaner environment. The Covenant also promotes increasing recycling rates.

A new Covenant is being developed to progress this work beyond 2016 and the ACT is involved in this.

The new Covenant will build on progress and help develop markets for packaging products that are difficult to recycle, such as pieces of glass that are too small to sort at normal recycling facilities, and mixed plastics.

For more information: ACT Action Plan for the Australian Packaging Covenant 2011–2016.

Waste education

The Actsmart website is the ACT Government’s one-stop-shop for sustainability information. Actsmart conducts waste education for businesses and schools as part of its sustainability programs. ACT NOWaste runs waste and recycling education and collection services for households.

Actsmart delivers the Actsmart Business Recycling program and the Actsmart Schools program which deliver education and support for reducing waste generation and increasing recycling. These programs include free information, tools, resources, and support, including on how to save money.

Household waste education, including information about which bin to put your rubbish in and what you can recycle, is provided by the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate.