Waste Management Community Consultation Report

Rethinking Waste Management - What you had to say

The results from the survey and the community consultation have been received and collated. Read the Waste Management Community Consultation Report below.


Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) has inherited a challenging situation in respect to waste management as many practices are archaic and not compliant with Australian or international law, nor are they acceptable by many residents, and unknown to the tourists who visit.  

Council has engaged external consultants, who have worked with our community for over 20 years, to help guide us. An Options Analysis report has been prepared which seeks to address these issues and provides some options for consideration including:

  • reducing, reusing, and recycling,
  • composting more materials, 
  • modifying the charging regime, and 
  • processing bulky waste on the island. 

Read the Waste Management Options Analysis report and Summary Paper below.

The 2015 Waste Plan aimed to align Norfolk Island with other Australian offshore islands regarding waste separation, treatment, and disposal. The plan sought to:

  • divert to composting 68%,
  • export for recycling 10%,
  • reuse 7%, and,
  • bale and export 15%.

This year it is expected that the island will need to export approximately 400 tonnes of baled waste and recycling. 

Reducing waste requiring export is paramount.  An examination of the current residual waste bales reveals they comprise, by weight, food and paper (49%), nappies (12%) and plastics 26% of which single use plastics are 7%. If the community separated all food/paper and families converted to compostable/ reusable nappies we could reduce our current exports by 60%. Current budget constraints do not allow for removal of recyclables from the island which are stockpiled. 

No one foresaw at the time of the 2015 study, that the shipping service to Australia would cease and baled waste would require air freighting to the mainland because shipping to New Zealand was not approved. All baled waste is treated as quarantine waste by the Australian government and has to comply with strict bio-security regulations. This change in freight arrangements has caused a substantial cost increase with NIRC forecast to spend $1.8 million in 2021-22 on waste.

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