Infrastructure Australia


Resource Recovery & Waste

Infrastructure Australia’s 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan – Waste and Circular Economy Chapter & Evidence Paper

The Project

To inform Australia’s infrastructure vision for 2036, Infrastructure Australia (IA) developed a 2021 Infrastructure Plan. The plan outlined areas for reform, with a specific focus on improving Australia’s state of sustainability across its economic, social, environmental and governance levers. It was also the first time this plan had dedicated a specific chapter to waste and circular economy. The plan identified two key areas which would help progress the waste sector:

  1. Valuing resources to enable a circular economy
  2. Waste data to drive innovation

To support the reforms identified within the Waste chapter, Edge was engaged to develop an evidence paper which:

  • Compiled nationwide research
  • Summarised the current state of waste management and circular practices in infrastructure
  • Highlighted areas for improvement and where value could be gained through circular practices and better data management

The Approach

Building on the insights gained through stakeholder engagement by Infrastructure Australia, Edge collated, assessed and presented evidence-based findings of the current progress and future potential for Australia in the waste sector.

The Edge team did this by drawing upon a vast amount of key resources to identify the overarching trends in Australia, behaviours, and current state of data collection and management.

These resources included the Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019, past national waste reports, national and international case studies on circular practices by private and public sector, and local, state and federal government strategies across waste, infrastructure, and circular economy.

The Result

Edge developed a comprehensive report to present key findings, designed to provide context to the core themes, educate stakeholders on the drivers for these reforms, and inform them on existing opportunities and gaps to address and prioritise in the future.

Infrastructure Australia released the Plan in August 2021. The executive summary can be found here, with a list of reforms provided in this here. This Plan will be a fundamental guide to the integration of waste management and circular economy practices in Australia’s infrastructure projects through to 2036 and beyond.

If you’re interested in learning more about Edge’s resource recovery and waste management advisory services, contact Jenni Philippe, Head of Circular Economy and Life Cycle Thinking at Edge Environment.

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