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Defence Estate Quality Management System (DEQMS) BSI Certification

Environment Compliance Element Environmental Management

Waste Minimisation and Management

At the meeting of Australia’s environment ministers on Friday 7 December 2018, ministers agreed to a new National Waste Policy. The policy identifies five principles underpinning waste management in a circular economy and a framework for collective action by businesses, governments, communities and individuals until 2030.   

The 2018 National Waste Report has now been published and provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of waste and resource recovery across the country.

Defence’s Waste Minimisation and Management Policy, contained in the Defence Environment and Heritage Manual reflects the principles in the National Waste Policy and the Sustainable Procurement Guide. It aims to minimise its waste generation and whole of life impacts from waste management and disposal, by committing to:  

  • ensure the whole-of-life costs of product stewardship including waste and disposal are considered in decision making;
  • reuse, recycle or recover materials and goods where available;
  • reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill;
  • avoid problematic and unnecessary single use plastic items where viable alternatives exist;
  • increase the amount of recycled content in goods and infrastructure procurement where fit for purpose products are available;
  • improve data management, with a focus on governance and compliance;
  • influence positive behaviour and improve education around waste avoidance and management; and
  • pursue opportunities in waste and resource management that retain the value of materials in the economy for as long as possible, reduce the depletion of natural resources and impacts of waste generation on the environment.

Defence can apply waste minimisation principles in two distinct areas of its business; in procurement and operations. Defence has significant purchasing power and can make a significant contribution to stimulate the effective use of resources, most notably recycled content products produced by markets and service providers and waste avoidance through consideration of packaging and avoidance of single use items. Options also exist for Defence to reuse, recycle or recover waste materials or assets that are generated in day-to-day operation, including construction through the Base Services Contract and other stewardship schemes.


To find out more, contact the Directorate of Environmental, Resource Management and Sustainability (DERMS).

Version Control
Version No: 1.8 | Last Updated: May 19
Technical Authority: ASEE
Subject Matter Expert: DERMS