The waste hierarchy ranks waste management options in order of their general environmental desirability. A waste hierarchy is set out in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (WARR Act).
Various adaptations of the waste hierarchy have been adopted in Australia and internationally. The hierarchy set out in the WARR Act is generally consistent with other variants. The Waste Authority supports the application of the waste hierarchy and considers it a useful guide to assist in decision making. The hierarchy is intended to be used alongside other tools including economic, social and environmental assessment.
No single waste management approach is suitable for managing all waste streams in all circumstances. In order to meet the Waste Authority’s objectives, there is a need to use a number of approaches, processes and technologies along different points of the waste hierarchy.