December 2020

2020 - an extraordinary year
By Gayle Sloan, WMRR CEO

What a difference 12 months make. This time last year, as I sat and reflected on 2019, we were in the thick of a severe bushfire season, mulling over the next steps that would drive Australia forward to make its circular aspirations a reality, and feeling a sense of excitement that 2020 would be a year of action.

Enter 2020 and what a whirlwind year it’s been. The last 12 months have been challenging for all, I suspect, kicking off with the clean-up of bushfire impacted areas, then with the COVID-19 pandemic thick on its heels. However, today, as I write this, I have never been prouder of our essential waste and resource recovery sector and all who work within it.

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We're taking a little break

From the WMRR team to yours, here's wishing you a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year. 

To all our members, thank you for your support and collaboration in 2020 and we look forward to working with you in 2021. 

The WMRR office 
will be closed from 24 December to 1 January 2021.

 2020 in numbers

2021 renewals now open

WMRR has commenced 2021 membership renewal and if you are an Individual member, or the administrator of your organisation’s Corporate or Government account, you will receive an invoice with membership renewal details. You may view your current membership status by logging in to the member portal here.

2021 categories and fees, including membership benefits, can be found here. There is a small annual fee adjustment of 1.5% in 2021.

For further information or to renew now, please contact the WMRR office on 02 8746 5000 or email[email protected]

PSA: Festive disposal done right

As we head into the festive season, WMRR is encouraging local government to educate residents on the safe disposal of batteries; specifically, that no batteries should go into kerbside bins. Residents may find battery recyclers here.

Beyond batteries, WMRR is reminding one and all to think about, and spread the word on how we can avoid waste in the first instance, then to reuse, repair, and recycle. Information on what materials can and should go into the yellow recycling bin, including links to state/territory-specific information can be found here.

Knowledge-sharing + advocacy

This year, WMRR has led the coordination of services in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly around the management of clinical waste and the ongoing provision of essential services amid evolving restrictions.

WMRR’s National Biohazardous Waste Industry (BWI) Division has been at the helm of many discussions, providing governments and other stakeholders with indispensable advice. WMRR’s COVID-19 information and advice can be found here.

In 2020, the BWI Division also updated its Industry Code of Practice for Managing Biohazardous Waste (including Clinical and Related Waste). Now in its 8th edition, the Code brings together minimum regulatory requirements combined with a best practice approach to managing biohazardous waste, and this iteration includes guidance on the safe and appropriate handling of pandemic (or similar) waste.

The Code is available to current WMRR members here (members will need to log in to download the Code) and we will be formally launching this essential document in early 2021.

Other industry resources, including WMRR submissions, position papers, and factsheets can be found here.


Snapshot of 2021 events + activities (some COVID-dependent)

  • Branch Committee, Working Group, and National Division meetings and activities to resume in February. 
  • National landfill technical webinar in Q1.
  • Continuation of the National Waste Educators forum series in Q1 on waste avoidance.
  • Relaunch of the Hunter NSW working group in February.
  • Launch of national divisions for a range of state-based working groups commencing February. 
  • Launch of Buy Recycled Directory and Industry Code of Practice. 
  • National accreditation and training scheme roll-out in Q4. 
  • Minister’s breakfast and Women of Waste series to resume from early 2021. 
  • Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations Conference: 8-10 June. 
  • Energy from Waste Conference: 18-19 August. 
  • WasteQ in Bundaberg: 20-21 October.