Consideration of best practice in trade-waste management is timely, given the challenges that the water industry and its customers face in managing the triple bottom line so we can maximise sustainability of both our environment and business.

City West Water (CWW) is one of Australia’s largest providers of trade-waste disposal services. These services, and the associated trade-waste programmes we operate, are critical to managing the risks associated with trade waste, as well as facilitating the uptake of cleaner production and waste minimisation across industrial and commercial sectors. Providers of trade-waste services have direct contact with many waste generators. This is a unique platform for risk management and facilitation of cleaner production and waste minimisation. Consequently, trade-waste services and programmes are critical to the outworking of Government policies and commitments in relation to cleaner production, waste minimisation and sustainability, as well as to meeting the community’s expectations in relation to waste management. However, it is not these issues alone that should drive consideration of trade-waste management. We must consider these issues alongside the viability of economic development and employment and look for solutions that maximise the beneficial outcomes across all three dimensions of the triple bottom line.

This paper takes a look at the current trade-waste management environment, along with the existing legislative and policy frameworks. It then suggests what best practice trade-waste management should entail. It examines key issues and drivers, elements of an effective strategy, roles and responsibilities, resource requirements, challenges/obstacles and solutions, and performance measurement and how it should be communicated.

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