Waste management technology and management options require assessment of their environmental, financial, social and technical performance, as well as integration of these assessment results with stakeholder preferences for waste decision making to support sustainability outcomes.
Various levels of government across Australia have undertaken net benefit assessment or triple bottom line assessment within defined boundaries. For example, Residual Waste Treatment Technologies have been studied in isolation and as part of integrated waste solutions (Resource NSW 1999; South Australia Department of Industry and EPA, 2001; Eco Recycle Victoria 2003, Gold Coast City Council, 2009) and management options for used packaging have been studied (NPCC, 2001; ERV, 2003; NPCC, 2004).
Further, governments have assessed the net benefit of waste stream management (ZWSA, 2007; 2008); collaborated to assess waste management options (Jurisdictional Recycling Group, 2004) or developed decision support tools based on Environmental LCA and Triple Bottom Line Assessment (Western Australian Local Government Association 2001 & 2004; EcoRecycle Victoria, 2003; NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, 2006 & 2007; Western Australia Department of Environment, 2008).
Such assessments have proved useful at the local level for waste decision support (Northern Sydney Waste Board, 2002; Mackay City Council, 2002, South East Queensland Regional Group of Councils 2003, Penrith City Council 2008, Gold Coast City Council, 2008; Orange City Council 2009).
Studies commissioned by government bodies in Australia have contributed to materials accounting decision support capacity and have been influential in regard to policy making in waste management.
The framework methodology for waste management is intended to be applicable to the different levels of decision making from strategic level policy making through to local application of technologies and technology benchmarking.