State and Local Government have agreed to jointly pursue the collection and reporting of waste data on a consistent basis across the State with the following objectives in mind:
- To facilitate a consistent and coordinated approach to data collection, to allow for better characterisation and classification of waste streams, the amount of waste generated, waste diverted from landfill, resources recovered and materials recycled in the State.
- To facilitate waste management strategic planning, budgeting and cost control for all levels of government;
- To facilitate the identification of priority areas and opportunities for resource recovery; and
- To measure progress that is made in resource recovery.
This will enable the production of better waste prevention strategies, and optimise recovery opportunities. Improved data collection and data management systems will provide a means to measure the progress of initiatives and actions designed to meet the objectives of the Tasmanian Waste and Resource Management Strategy 2009 and the National Waste Policy 2009. This will enable meaningful, achievable and realistic targets to be set.
Waste data is collected by the EPA Division each year from each of Tasmania's Level 2 landfills. This information is collated and published in the EPA's Annual Report.
Landfill Reporting and the Tasmanian Waste Classification System
In April 2006 the Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment proceeded to prepare and issue Environment Protection Notices imposing waste data reporting obligations upon operators of municipal landfills. Under these EPNs landfill operators must report waste data for each financial year in accordance with the Tasmanian Solid Waste Classification System which has been jointly adopted by State and Local Government. The classification system is supported by an agreed set of definitions.
Waste Transfer Stations
Data from Waste Transfer Stations (WTS) is vital to the development of a state-wide waste database. WTS are key facilities for resource recovery and WTS can 'see' information about waste (such as its source) which is invisible following consolidation and transport of that waste. As such, collection of waste data from WTSs is vital to furthering the above objectives.
To assist Local Government a model contract clause has also been provided for inclusion in WTS contracts.
Waste Data Workshops
In December 2006 and January 2007 the Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment, together with local government officers from each of Tasmania's three regions, conducted workshops on how to collect and report data about waste. The material presented at the workshops included a sample reporting spreadsheet prepared by Hobart City Council.