Sustainable Development Success Stories

The Australian National Kerbside Taskforce

Location  Australia.
Responsible Organisation United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat).
Description Australians are high per capita generators of waste and the Australian Government at all levels is committed to halve waste between 1990 and 2000. The National Kerbside Taskforce project is a partnership among Commonwealth, State and Local Governments and major industry sectors to establish viable, voluntary plans and programs to significantly reduce post consumer waste, as one central part of broader national waste reduction strategies. Initial plans were formulated against 1995 targets.
Issues Addressed Sustainable consumption and production patterns; urban governance; urban and regional planning.
Results Achieved Significant success has been achieved in reducing waste levels: when kerbside recovery was still organised on a state-by-state basis, recovery levels were rather low (3-6%). Through the partnership initiative, all major cities now have comprehensive kerbside recycling systems. The participation rate is high and the recovery rate has increased to as much as 15-25 %.

Industries produce voluntary waste reduction targets; participation rates average about 60 - 70 %. Due to long-term buy-back contracts, prices of recovered materials stabilised, increasing the sustainability.

The program is about to be broadened considerably, with new industries being added and NGOs being involved.

Lessons Learned The programme has expanded greatly without the need for changes in legislation or other regulatory measures.
Contact Mr. John Stanley
Recycling and Resource Recovery Council,
6/355 Exhibition Street,
Melbourne, Vic 3000
Tel. (61 3) 96390922; Fax (61 3)-94823262