Waste legislation

Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2023

The Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2023 (WRR Regulation) commenced on 25 August 2023. Following a sunset review, the WRR Regulation was introduced to replace the Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2011 which was due to expire.

The objective of the WRR Regulation is to continue to provide a regulatory mechanism for the implementation of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 (the Waste Act). The WRR Regulation supports the management of waste through supporting avoidance, reuse, recycling and safe disposal of waste, through setting regulatory requirements and providing enabling heads of power for waste reduction and recycling activities.

Key features of the WRR Regulation include:

  • providing a framework for the effective operation for the waste levy
  • providing bans of certain single use plastic items
  • giving effect to the container refund scheme
  • describing waste reporting requirements
  • setting standards, controls or procedures for the manufacture, generation, sale, use, transport, receival, storage, treatment, or disposal of waste including:
    • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
    • clinical and related waste
    • used packaging materials
    • storage, disposal, receival or treatment of waste or equipment for dealing with waste.

There are also a number of differences when compared to the previous regulation, including;

  • New provisions concerning the expansion of the single-use plastic items ban and the ban on the supply of plastic shopping bags that commence on 1 September 2023.
  • Clearer description of the application of waste levy rates according to where the waste originates and where disposal occurs, in alignment with the intention of the Waste Act.
  • 'Planning entities' are no longer prescribed, nor required to develop, implement and report on waste reduction and recycling plans.
  • 'Sectors of reporting entities' are no longer prescribed, nor required to submit reports on types and amounts of waste processed under the Act.
  • Minor changes to reduce regulatory burden on stakeholders by removing redundant provisions and providing clearer information on the application of, and obligations under, the regulation.

Local government waste management reforms

Queensland has State regulations that set out how councils can manage waste collection and disposal in their local government areas.

The Queensland Government is reviewing the regulations to ensure these meet the needs of councils, private waste companies, local businesses and communities.

The Local Government Waste Management Reforms Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (PDF, 1.9 MB) was released for public consultation over the period 13 December 2019 to 10 February 2020.

Submissions have now closed and feedback is being considered.

For any further questions regarding the consultation process, or next steps in the review, please email the Office of Resource Recovery at CircularEconomy@des.qld.gov.au.