Waste and resource management

Roads and Maritime is committed to reducing its waste generation and resource consumption.

We use significant quantities of raw and manufactured construction materials in its construction and maintenance activities. We also purchases large quantities of non construction related goods and services such as computers, printed brochures, uniforms, safety equipment, telecommunications and office equipment.


An important environmental and economic issue for road and maritime construction and maintenance projects is the management of construction materials and wastes.

Roads and Maritime’s road project environmental assessment (EA) reports include information on the management of excavated soils and other materials.

Options for managing road construction materials are identified using the waste hierarchy, as follows:

  1. Waste avoidance
  2. Re-use on site
  3. Re-use off site
  4. Disposal

Construction waste recovery rates have improved since 2010-11 and continue to be high. Overall, RMS is meeting the NSW Government’s 2014 waste recovery targets.

High rates of recycling can be attributed to the reduced construction costs of re-using materials generated on-site compared to the high costs of transporting and disposing of wastes off-site and importing new materials. In addition, over the past three years Roads and Maritime has negotiated new resource recovery exemptions with the EPA that helps facilitate the beneficial re-use of road construction materials.

Resource management

In 2012-13 Roads and Maritime purchased approximately:

  • 1.1 million tonnes of aggregate for road maintenance and construction
  • 275,000 tonnes of asphalt
  • Consumed 80,000 reams of paper

Where practical and cost effective, Roads and Maritime uses recycled products and recycles materials. In road maintenance and construction, we already achieve high recycling rates and have exceeded the NSW State Government’s 2014 target recycling rates for construction and demolition waste.

The latest Roads and Maritime Sustainability Performance Report provides an overview of our usage of electricity, water and paper and quantities of waste and recycling.

Waste Management Guide

Roads and Maritime Services is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of its own activities and to complying with its environmental legislative obligations. These commitments extend to the management of wastes from road construction and maintenance activities.

The generation of waste has the potential to cause adverse environmental impacts. These include the pollution of air and water, contamination of land, and the loss of land used for landfill sites.

Roads and Maritime produces significant quantities of wastes from its road construction and maintenance activities. It’s important that these wastes be managed well and in compliance with relevant state legislation.

Roads and Maritime has produced the Technical Guide: Management of Road Construction and Maintenance Wastes. This Guide provides information on Roads and Maritime's requirements for the management of solid and liquid wastes associated with road construction and maintenance works. It has been prepared to:

  • Assist staff and contractors to determine requirements for the management of Roads and Maritime waste.
  • Provide information on how to comply with reporting and management requirements.
  • Promote reuse of materials and reduction in waste disposed of to landfill.
  • Direct you to where further information and help can be found.

Management of Wastes on Roads and Maritime Services Land

The construction of road projects often requires the use of Roads and Maritime land for ancillary construction activities such as the temporary stockpiling of soils, concrete batching and locating of site sheds. Roads and Maritime land adjacent to road corridors may also be used to construct permanent structures such as visual and noise mounds.

Roads and Maritime has developed a new environmental procedure to minimise the risks of unauthorised construction wastes remaining on Roads and Maritime land following the completion of road construction activities.

The procedure “Management of Wastes on Roads and Maritime Services Land” details:

  • Environmental planning approval processes
  • Best practices and contingency planning for construction wastes on sites
  • Proforma pre-construction benchmark site assessments to establish the condition of an RMS site prior to hand over to a construction contractor
  • Proforma post-construction site condition assessments to verify that no unauthorised wastes remain on a site post construction.

View or download Management of wastes on Roads and Maritime Services land.

Waste fact sheets

In NSW, construction wastes such as soils, asphalt, concrete and steel is regulated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). To assist Roads and Mairimte staff and contractors to understand their waste responsibilities, we have produced a series of waste fact sheets on common road construction and maintenance wastes.

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