Policies & Projects

CURRENT PROJECTS:

Collective Impact Measurement Project:

Building a compelling case for increased government investment starts with measuring the triple-bottom line impact of our national charitable reuse and recycling sector.

Charitable Recycling Australia works closely with our member enterprises to do this, by inviting them to regularly contribute basic information about their work and impact. This helps us build an increasingly detailed picture of the social, environmental and economic benefits they bring to Australian society on a local, state and national level.

The value of this collective impact measurement is two-fold;

  1. It enables each member enterprise to quantify and share the outstanding work they do in advancing circularity in this country. Leaning on the growing evidence base gathered by Charitable Recycling Australia, individual enterprises can access their own data for use in stakeholder communications, annual reports, tenders and grant operations.
  2. It enables Charitable Recycling Australia to advocate for the charitable reuse and recycling sector as a whole and represent the collective interests of our member enterprises to Australian consumers, businesses and governments.

We are currently involved in two collective impact measurement initiatives:

  1. Australian Research Council Linkage Project

    Led by Monash University, this 3 year research project starts in July 2020. It will explore the role of charitable and community sector organisations in the reuse of products and materials and consider the flow-on impacts of associated employment and training. It will develop practical methods to measure and report on how charitable reuse and recycling enterprises contribute to a socially inclusive circular economy. Its aims are:

    • To address gaps in understanding around what drives reuse and the socio-economic benefits it provides
    • To develop a national reporting methodology which can be used to inform government circular economy policy, strategic investment and targets
  2. Circular Economy Impact Measurement

    In addition, Charitable Recycling Australia is independently funding a separate, shorter-term impact measurement research project.

    The purpose of this research is to demonstrate the social, environmental and economic impacts of charitable reuse and recycling. It will use the case study of clothing textiles. Charitable Recycling Australia has commissioned MRA Consulting to conduct this research and it is expected that the initial data and outputs will be ready in mid 2020.

*Note: This brief was written prior to the rebrand of Charitable Recycling Australia. As a result, we are referred to as The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations throughout.

Designing a National Textiles Reuse Policy:

Charitable Recycling Australia advocates for a National Textiles Reuse Policy. Clothing textiles represent a valuable resource in Australia’s economy, but the vast majority is generated outside of the charitable reuse and recycling sector and subsequently ends up in landfill.

The National Waste Report 2017-18 highlights that Australia has very low resource recovery rates of just 12%. This is in stark contrast to the textile recovery rates achieved by charitable reuse and recycling enterprises, which hover between 80% – 90%.

With the fashion industry beginning to embrace sustainable solutions and consumers starting to demand that brands and retailers consider environmental impacts, we believe our governments could act decisively to get more textiles out of landfill, extend the life cycles of textile products and design these goods with circularity principles top of mind.

Specifically, we advocate for a multi-sector collaboration between commercial textile manufacturers, fashion brands and clothing retailers, charitable reuse and recycling enterprises and state governments.

The focus of this collaboration will be designing a National Textiles Reuse Policy that articulates strategies for:

  • diverting textile waste from landfill
  • promoting reuse and encouraging consumers to donate to and shop at charity and social enterprise retailers
  • exploring commercially viable recycling technology, offshore processing and the use of renewable fibres in garment design

*Note: This submission was written prior to the rebrand of Charitable Recycling Australia. As a result, we are referred to as The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations throughout. Additionally, new data has emerged since this position was published, showing that illegal dumping and unusable donations result in 80, 000 tonnes being sent to landfill every year.

Illegal Dumping Policy Position:

Australian charity and social enterprise retailers are forced to send over 80,000 tonnes of unusable donations to landfill every year, primarily due to illegal dumping and unusable donations.

Not only does this increase waste and result in lower rates of resource recovery and reuse, but it means that these retailers are forced to spend $18 million on waste management and disposal every year, via waste contractor fees and site clean-up costs.

We believe there is significant opportunity for the State and Federal governments to offset the impacts of illegal dumping and provide a foundation of support for charitable reuse and recycling enterprises.

*Note: This policy position was written prior to the rebrand of Charitable Recycling Australia. As a result, we are referred to as The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations throughout. Additionally, new data has emerged since this position was published, showing that illegal dumping and unusable donations result in 80, 000 tonnes being sent to landfill every year.

Weight Based Billing:

Traditionally, Australian waste collectors charge their customers based on bin size and volume of waste, which is referred to as lift-based billing. Under this system, there is no price incentive to reduce waste because the fee per ‘bin lift’ is the same whether said bin is empty, half-full or full.

Alternatively, weight-based billing charges customers based on the weight of waste, which offers an incentive to modify waste generation and recycling behaviours. It allows customers more transparency in terms of their waste generation and management costs, with more accurate and substantial data that can inform business and sustainability reporting.

Charitable Recycling Australia is currently organising a weight-based billing tender in NSW, designed to save our member enterprises money and provide more billing transparency and accountability.

*Note: This summary paper was written prior to the rebrand of Charitable Recycling Australia. As a result, we are referred to as The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations throughout.

POLICIES:

Donation Bin Policy:

Charitable Recycling Australia’s member enterprises operate many of the donation bins around Australia. These bins are an important way for communities to directly support charitable causes, while also diverting materials from landfill and giving them a second life.

The donated items can then be sold by charity and social enterprise retailers, who can funnel the resulting revenue of $550+ million into their charitable work to assist Australia’s most vulnerable communities.

*Note: These policies were written prior to the rebrand of Charitable Recycling Australia. As a result, we are referred to as The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations throughout.

Container Deposit / Refund Schemes:

Container Refund Schemes (CRS) play an important function in advancing the circular economy in Australia.

Specifically, they facilitate increased recycling and a reduction in litter, generate new jobs and business opportunities in resource recovery and provide sustainable income to the Not-For-Profit sector.

There is a significant opportunity for charitable reuse and recycling enterprises to participate in Container Refund Schemes. In particular, they can act as collection points for donations which would enable them to claim a refund for each eligible container or as recognised Network Operators who claim a handling fee for container returns.

*Note: These policies were written prior to the rebrand of Charitable Recycling Australia. As a result, we are referred to as The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations throughout.

The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations Limited is a company limited by guarantee, operating under ASIC and trading as Charitable Recycling Australia.
© Copyright - Charitable Recycling Australia. All rights reserved.
Website by rhapsodyingraphics.com.au