Friday 1 February 2013

Driving collaboration in the Australian recycling industry

Driving collaboration in the Australian recycling industry

The Opportunity
Every year the recycling industry saves Australia 21 million tonnes of solid waste and 172 million kilolitres of water. This is equivalent to 35% of all waste generated and around 69,000 Olympic swimming pools. Yet sadly not all firms who claim to recycle are genuine, and some simply use the term �recycling� to green-wash poor waste management practices.

By documenting best practice, the Australian recycling industry can help to reinforce its integrity, and ensure that those who deserve support and recognition receive it. With this opportunity in mind the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) partnered with ACOR, the Australian recycling industry�s peak body, to facilitate as series of TechClinics across the country. The TechClinics focused on the question; �How can we document and recognise best practice in the Australian recycling industry�

The AIC TechClinics
The AIC and ACOR facilitated TechClinic� workshops in Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney, with support from Enterprise Connect, and the State Governments of Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales.

The major objective of an AIC TechClinic� is to bring together representatives together from across the industry value chain to solve industry challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

A range of interested parties from industry, government and the research sector attended the TechClinics, including representatives from Veolia, VISY, and Zero Waste SA.

A number of expert and industry insight presentations took place and a range of issues and opportunities were also highlighted and debated.

Issues and Opportunities
Participants addressed a range of issues and opportunities in documenting and recognising best practice:

  • Keeping abreast of rapidly changing technologies and methods
  • Regulatory differences between the states
  • Time and money resource requirements
  • Improved relationship with government
  • Standardisation of nomenclature, guidelines, standards, and data collection and reporting
  • Marketing and communication opportunities, including repositioning the recycling industry


A major outcome of the TechClinic� workshops was to identify the need for an Australian recycling industry code of conduct, and a related accreditation standard, much like a heart smart tick. This would offer a number of advantages to the industry:
  • Greater credibility with government and investor confidence
  • Improved compliance and quality control
  • Industry self-regulation is more flexible and less intrusive than government regulation, and can be amended more efficiently to keep abreast of changes in industry needs
  • Industry participants have a greater sense of ownership of the code leading to a stronger commitment to comply with the Act
  • Recognition and competitive advantage through government procurement and processing
  • Time efficient and user friendly in resolving complaints than government bodies.

During each TechClinic an action plan was formed, allowing participants to commit to practical actions addressing the needs identified for industry development. Many of the actions agreed depend on ongoing collaboration across the Australian recycling value chain. With this objective ACOR will continue to develop an industry accreditation standard and facilitate industry collaboration to achieve this goal.

For more information about this initiative, visit

�Very helpful and interesting� � Pat Daley, Salvation Army
�Thank you, excellent initiative� � Mark Jackson- EPA New South Wales

< Back

AIC Commercialisation Masterclass

This Professional Development workshop will assist researchers, product managers and entrepreneurs derive full value from their innovations and is designed for those with a general understanding of commercialisation principles.



“Please have it known that I received wonderful support from The Australian Institute for Commercialisation in regards to my Patent and as to how I could get the concept to market. I turned to the inventor service for support and guidance”

Ron Roberts,