Awards for Excellence 2024

The WasteMINZ Awards for Excellence recognise the industry superstars who have been part of an amazing initiative or project over the past 12 months. 

As an added incentive and to recognise the fantastic work that they've been doing the winning team of each category receives one free registration to the 2025 conference - worth approximately $1500!

This year, we're doing things differently! We've changed our categories to reflect the waste hierarchy, rather than our sector groups. We've also changed the way you can nominate yourself or others, by including a second, more in depth nomination form which we will ask the nominees to fill out themselves. 

Entries close Friday, 8 March! 

The Awards for Excellence event will be held on 28 May as part of our Conference 2024 - we'll be shortening the ceremony so that you can all celebrate in style at the networking drinks afterwards. 

Complete the nomination form for the Awards for Excellence here

Complete the nomination for the Young Professional of the Year award here. 

Learn more about the new categories below.


Read about last year's Awards for Excellence winners.

Best initiative to reduce waste or redesign products

This award recognises organisations that have demonstrated exemplary commitment and innovation in addressing the challenges of waste reduction and product redesign.


Nominees in this category showcase forward-thinking strategies that go beyond conventional waste management practices. Whether through groundbreaking technological solutions, circular economy models, or innovative product redesign, these initiatives redefine the possibilities of sustainable resource recovery. From minimising environmental impact to promoting a circular approach to production, nominees in this category embody the spirit of positive change in waste and resource recovery.


Judges will evaluate entries based on the effectiveness of waste reduction measures, the creativity applied to product redesign, and the overall impact on sustainability and environmental preservation. This award honours the dedication of organisations that understand the urgency of reshaping our approach to waste, setting new standards for responsible business practices and inspiring others to follow suit.


Join us in applauding those who actively contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future through their outstanding efforts in waste reduction and product redesign. The "Best Initiative to Reduce Waste or Redesign Products" award celebrates the visionaries shaping a world where waste is not an end but a new beginning for innovative and responsible practices.

Judging criteria
  • Innovation: The degree of innovation demonstrated in waste reduction strategies or product redesign.
  • Effectiveness: The measurable impact of the initiative in reducing waste or improving product design for sustainability.
  • Scalability: The potential for the initiative to be scaled up or replicated in different settings or industries.
  • Creativity: The creative approaches and solutions applied to address waste reduction or product redesign challenges.
  • Environmental Impact: The overall positive effect on the environment in terms of reduced waste generation or improved product life cycle.
Best initiative to encourage reuse, repair or repurpose

This category celebrates companies, organisations, councils or groups that have taken the lead in fostering a culture of reuse, repair, and repurposing, aiming to extend the lifecycle of products and reduce their environmental footprint.


Nominees in this category showcase initiatives that inspire and empower individuals and communities to rethink the traditional linear approach to consumption. Whether through innovative reuse programs, community-driven repair workshops, or creative repurposing campaigns, these initiatives contribute to minimising waste and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.


Judges will evaluate entries based on the effectiveness of the initiative in encouraging reuse, the impact on promoting repair culture, and the creativity applied to repurposing efforts. The winning organisation will exemplify a commitment to creating a more resilient and resource-efficient society, where the value of products extends beyond their initial use.


Join us in celebrating the leaders who inspire change and foster a mindset that turns every act of reuse, repair, or repurposing into a powerful step towards a sustainable and regenerative future.

Judging criteria
  • Community Engagement: The level of engagement with communities and individuals to promote reuse, repair, or repurposing behaviours.
  • Inclusivity: How well the initiative encourages diverse participation and inclusivity in reuse, repair, or repurposing efforts.
  • Creativity in Campaigns: The creative and effective use of campaigns or programs to inspire and promote reuse, repair, or repurposing.
  • Impact on Local Economy: The positive impact of the initiative on the local economy, such as job creation or support for local businesses.
  • Long-Term Sustainability: The potential of the initiative to create lasting change and promote long-term sustainability in consumption patterns.
Best resource recovery or value recovery initiative

This award recognises organisations at the forefront of turning waste into valuable assets. This category celebrates initiatives that demonstrate exceptional innovation and effectiveness in the recovery of resources, creating a positive impact on both the environment and the economy.


Nominees in this category showcase initiatives that go beyond traditional waste management practices, employing cutting-edge technologies, strategic partnerships, and sustainable practices to extract value from discarded materials. From recovering valuable materials to generating renewable energy, these initiatives exemplify the transformative power of resource recovery.


Judges will assess entries based on the ingenuity of resource recovery methods, the scalability and replicability of the initiative, and its overall impact on sustainability and economic viability. 


The winning organisation will embody the spirit of a circular economy, proving that waste is not just a burden but a potential resource waiting to be harnessed.

Judging criteria

  • Innovative Technologies: The use of innovative technologies or methods to recover valuable resources from waste.
  • Economic Viability: The initiative's contribution to economic sustainability through resource recovery and its potential for financial viability.
  • Environmental Impact: The positive environmental impact of the resource recovery initiative, such as reduced carbon footprint or conservation of resources.
  • Scalability and Replicability: The potential for the initiative to be scaled up or replicated in different regions or industries.
  • Waste Diversion Success: The effectiveness of the initiative in diverting waste from traditional disposal methods to resource recovery.

Most sustainable/innovative waste disposal initiative

This award celebrates organisations that have demonstrated exceptional creativity and commitment to revolutionising the way we handle and eliminate waste.


Nominees in this category showcase initiatives that deploy cutting-edge technologies, employ eco-friendly disposal methods, and prioritise sustainability throughout the entire waste disposal process. These initiatives embody a commitment to environmental stewardship while addressing the global challenge of waste management.


Judges will evaluate entries based on the initiative's environmental impact, the level of innovation demonstrated, and its potential for scalability and applicability in diverse settings. 


The winning organisation will stand as a beacon of inspiration, showcasing how sustainable waste disposal can be a driving force for positive change.

Judging criteria
  • Environmental Impact: The initiative's impact on reducing environmental harm during waste disposal.
  • Innovation in Disposal Methods: The use of innovative and sustainable methods for waste disposal.
  • Community Integration: The level of community involvement and support in the waste disposal initiative.
  • Technological Advancements: The use of advanced technologies to enhance the sustainability of waste disposal practices.‚Äč
Best research or advocacy project

This award recognises the impactful efforts of organisations dedicated to advancing knowledge, awareness, and action in the realm of waste management, resource recovery and contaminated land management. 


The "Best Research or Advocacy Project" category celebrates initiatives that have demonstrated excellence in conducting groundbreaking research or advocating for transformative policies and practices in the field.


Nominees in this category exemplify a commitment to pushing the boundaries of understanding and addressing the challenges and opportunities within waste management and resource recovery. Whether through rigorous scientific research, influential policy advocacy, or community engagement initiatives, these projects contribute to shaping a more sustainable and resilient future.


Judges will evaluate entries based on the project's innovation, the depth and relevance of research, the effectiveness of advocacy efforts, and the tangible impact on advancing sustainable practices. 


The winning project will serve as a beacon of inspiration, showcasing how research and advocacy can drive positive change in waste and resource recovery.

Judging criteria

  • Depth of Research: The depth, thoroughness, and quality of research conducted in the field of waste and resource recovery.
  • Influence and Impact: The project's influence on policy, public perception, or industry practices in waste management.
  • Innovative Approach: The application of innovative approaches or methodologies in research or advocacy efforts.
  • Community Engagement: The extent to which the project engages and benefits the wider community or industry.
  • Sustainability of Outcomes: The potential for sustained positive outcomes resulting from the research or advocacy project.

Terre Nicholson Contaminated Management Young Professional of the Year

This prestigious award is dedicated to recognising the outstanding contributions of young professionals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment, innovation, and leadership in the field of contaminated land management.


The Terre Nicholson Contaminated Land Management Young Professional of the Year is an award in honour of the late Terre Nicholson, who was a great advocate of young professionals in the sector. She went out her way to encourage, welcome, and support those entering the profession and always had time to give advice, lend a listening ear, and share a good joke.


Judges will evaluate entries based on the nominee's accomplishments, leadership qualities, impact on the industry, and dedication to promoting sustainable practices. The recipient of this award will stand as a shining example, inspiring other young professionals to make meaningful contributions to the evolving landscape of contaminated land management.


This award honours the dynamic individuals who represent the next generation of leaders in contaminated land management, recognising their potential to drive lasting positive change. 

Judging criteria

  • Leadership Skills: Demonstrated leadership qualities and the ability to inspire positive change in contaminated land management.
  • Innovative Contributions: Innovative contributions and solutions to challenges in contaminated land management.
  • Impact on the Industry: The individual's measurable impact on the contaminated land management industry.
  • Dedication to Sustainability: A commitment to promoting and advancing sustainable practices in contaminated land management.
  • Professional Growth: Evidence of professional growth and development within the contaminated land management sector.
  • Open to young professionals aged 35 or younger 

Waste and Resource Recovery Young Professional of the Year

This prestigious award is dedicated to recognising the outstanding contributions of young professionals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment, innovation, and leadership in the field of waste and resource recovery. The "Waste and Resource Recovery Young Professional of the Year" category celebrates the rising stars whose passion and dedication are shaping the future of sustainable waste management.


Nominees in this category showcase a remarkable blend of fresh perspectives and seasoned expertise, driving positive change through their innovative approaches to waste and resource recovery challenges. From implementing cutting-edge technologies to developing community-driven initiatives, these young professionals embody the spirit of ingenuity and commitment to sustainability.


Judges will evaluate entries based on the nominee's accomplishments, leadership qualities, impact on the industry, and dedication to promoting sustainable practices. The recipient of this award will stand as a shining example, inspiring other young professionals to make meaningful contributions to the evolving landscape of waste and resource recovery.


This award honours the dynamic individuals who represent the next generation of leaders in waste and resource recovery, recognising their potential to drive lasting positive change. 

Judging criteria

  • Leadership Skills: Demonstrated leadership qualities and the ability to inspire positive change in contaminated land management.
  • Innovative Contributions: Innovative contributions and solutions to challenges in contaminated land management.
  • Impact on the Industry: The individual's measurable impact on the contaminated land management industry.
  • Dedication to Sustainability: A commitment to promoting and advancing sustainable practices in contaminated land management.
  • Professional Growth: Evidence of professional growth and development within the contaminated land management sector
  • Open to young professionals aged 35 or younger