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AIEN Webinar: Overcoming Regulatory Barriers to Growing Markets for Recycled Organics

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Recovery of diversion of organic waste materials is gaining significant momentum across the country. The organics recycling sector and composting industry has grown to meet the challenge – with organics recycling increasing from 5.15 million tonnes in 2006/07 to 8.35 million tonnes in 2020/21[1]. Yet up to 50% by weight over the average red bin disposed to landfill is still food and garden organics. And many other organic waste streams, that contain valuable organic matter and nutrients are still lost to landfill.

In NSW, the Resource Recovery and Exemption framework was implemented in 2014 to help set out the regulatory requirements on the lawful use of waste materials in the environment, whether applied to land as a fertiliser, use in construction as fill or as a fuel. Whilst a series of general orders and exemptions have been published by the NSW EPA, a barrier to improved organics recycling is the need to apply for a Specific Resource Recovery Order and Exemption (SRRO/E) in cases where boutique or non-standard waste streams are accepted for recycling.

A recent independent review of the Resource Recovery and Exemption framework found that the system needs to be simplified to support the circular economy.

This webinar will provide an outline of the key factors for success in applying for a SRRO/E, and practical examples and lessons learnt by significant composting businesses that have successfully navigated the framework. A better appreciation of the regulatory requirements for organics recycling will help grow the sector, markets and the economic benefits of organics recycling.

[1] Blue Environment (2022). National Waste Report. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, 16/12/2022.

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