HNRV reflects an approach that seeks to achieve or retain the highest possible resource value from the materials under consideration, “Net” of the cost and effort to achieve such an outcome.
The waste hierarchy is normally presented only in the context of environmental/social good. The AIEN has re-imagined the waste hierarchy as representing the notional value applied to a given ‘resource’. At the low-end, disposal to landfill implies the generator places a negative value on the resource. At the high end the generator places full commercial value upon the resource through avoidance and/or minimisation.
As a community, Australia has afforded insufficient attention to recycled product markets. It is recognised the waste hierarchy and the circular economy must be underpinned by markets to utilise reusable and recycled content.
The AIEN would urge all governments to more fully consider rewarding outcomes at the market/recycled product end of the resource management spectrum. Proper consideration of the complete resource recovery/management system (with emphasis on the critical role of markets for recycled products and content) will require/necessitate a significant coordination between waste policy, employment and industry policy, regional investment policy, etc being postulated as an element in a larger resource management picture.