Waste handling reforms to impact on transport


Power include enforcing GPS devices in trucks along with tighter regulations

Waste handling reforms to impact on transport
The NSW waste industry crackdown gains teeth

 

The first stage of waste handling reforms in New South Wales comes into force on Saturday, heralding changes impacting on its transport.

The tightening of the regulations and the increases in penalties, which have attracted cross-party support, are aimed at curtailing criminal and cowboy activity regarding waste.

More generally, environment minister Rob Stokes says these new requirements will "target operators who stockpile waste with no legitimate end use; unnecessarily transport it for long distances for disposal; and who attempt to avoid licensing laws and the waste levy".

"Illegal dumping and waste levy avoidance by unscrupulous operators is undercutting legitimate businesses, distorting the market, causing millions of dollars in clean-up costs to communities and putting our environment and health at risk," Stokes says.

"This new regulation gives the EPA [Environment Protection Authority] the licensing and regulatory powers it needs to support the legitimate operation of the waste industry and restrict the potential for illegal and dangerous operations.

For transporters without an exemption, the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 will see the ‘Proximity Principle’ come into play that makes it an offence to drive 10 tonnes or more of NSW waste for disposal more than 150 km from its source or to one of the two nearest lawful disposal facilities.

Restricted solid waste must go to the nearest such facility.

Fines are $15,000 for corporations and $7,500 for individuals and penalties of up to $44,000 may be imposed by a court.

From March 1, along with mandating the retention of records, is the requirement for trucks carrying more than 10 tonnes of waste generated from the metropolitan levy area (MLA) that is transported outside of NSW to fit GPS tracking devices.

With limited exceptions, waste consignors and transporters will be required to use the existing EPA’s online waste tracking system to lodge details about the consignment, including details of the interstate facility receiving the waste.

Come July 1, regulations on the transport of waste tyres will come into force.

"These requirements will apply to loads of waste tyres greater than 200 kg or more than 20 waste tyres, whichever weighs less," the EPA says.

"The disposal facility will be required to confirm details of receipt of the waste tyres."

It is developing an electronic system to make this a simple and easy-to-use process to record the required information, it adds.

 Details on the new regulations can be found here.

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