Bridgestone joins Circular Economy 100 programme

Bridgestone joins Circular Economy 100 programme

The programme is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.

Established in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition from the current ‘take, make and dispose’ extractive industrial model to a circular economy, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation acts as educator, communicator and lobbyist for the issue.  Read more

Legal Eagle: Parliamentary Inquiry - EfW technology

Legal Eagle: Parliamentary Inquiry – EfW technology

Further to this, matters including illegal dumping and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) were additionally discussed in the inquiry and final report.

Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping has been described by the NSW EPA as ‘the disposal of waste larger than litter on land or in water without the appropriate environment protection licence or planning approvals’. Some of the penalties for illegal dumping include on-the-spot fines, fines and additional daily penalties, ranging from $15,000 to $1,000,000 dependent on whether the offender is an individual or corporation. Read more

Lightning in a bottle

Lightning in a bottle

In fact, the numbers point to a fairly popular program, what with 150 million drink containers already refunded at time of press and daily volumes averaging well over two million a day, a figure that is reportedly on the rise. And while there was concern over the lack of information on where collection sites would be located two weeks before the December 1 roll-out, today, more than 500 points, which include reverse vending machines (RVMs), over-the-counter collection points, and automated depots, have been set up by network operator, joint venture TOMRA Cleanaway. Read more

Feeling a mild sense of disappointment? Join the club

Feeling a mild sense of disappointment? Join the club

The main focus of the meeting was sustainably managing recycled waste following import restrictions rolled out by China on January 1. As reported on Inside Waste and other media outlets, China’s National Sword policy created several challenges for industry and the highly anticipated MEM was viewed by industry and other stakeholders as a good opportunity for Environment Ministers to hash out the details that could lead to positive reform as well as commit to funding to push these initiatives forward. Read more

The power of renewability in light of the China ban on foreign waste

The power of renewability in light of the China ban on foreign waste

Labels have become an important way to communicate to customers on the quality, source and type of products they are purchasing. Environmental labels in particular are sought after and recognised by consumers, with 42% of consumers looking out for environmental logos when they shop, according to Tetra Pak’s Environmental Research Global Report 2017.

Manjula Murugesan, environment manager at Tetra Pak Oceania, says the good news is that consumers are attuned to this conversation and want to be involved. Read more

Knowing your waste streams

Knowing your waste streams

Waste analysis supports key decisions in each step of a project’s development, and is used to understand impacts on plant and to the environment. Currently, Australia has no nationally recognised standard methods for sampling and analysis of waste resources. However, HRL business unit leader Nick Miller, who spoke at the Australian Waste to Energy Forum in Ballarat in February, said in order to characterise waste streams accurately and provide a clear picture of waste quality and variability, proponents should turn to existing international sampling and analysis methodologies, though he emphasised that technique selection is critical. Read more

APCO calls for domestic solutions for our packaging waste streams

APCO calls for domestic solutions for our packaging waste streams

APCO’s chief executive officer Brooke Donnelly recently caught up with Inside Waste to speak more on the findings of their report, the implications of the China ban, the range of solutions they have to improve sustainable packaging design, as well as her thoughts on the state of the sector as a whole in relation to this issue. Read more

Legalities of improper waste disposal and treatment

Setting new standards

The success of these councils’ landfill diversion efforts is in large part due to Halve Waste, a public awareness and education program launched in 2010 and delivered with assistance by MRA Consulting Group to engage the whole community in efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling. Albury City Council (ACC) has taken the lead in the project as its Waste Management Centre (AWMC) is the central facility for waste disposal for the six participating councils. Read more

Enriching the future

Enriching the future

In the December issue of Inside Waste, green waste and biowaste processing equipment supplier Komptech declared that it is a “very good time to be in the organics business”, with growth largely driven by the money flowing out of state governments. And it is a sentiment echoed by the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA).

According to AORA’s modelling and research, organics recovery has been on the rise and the processing of garden organics is now commonplace in Australia. Food organics recovery is also catching up, which AORA executive officer Peter McLean says is “very beneficial”. Read more

Legalities of improper waste disposal and treatment

Legalities of improper waste disposal and treatment

So long as a business’ activities involve the handling of waste material at any point during the process of creating waste to the disposal of it, such business is caught under all relevant regulations overlooking waste management.

The purpose of the waste management regulations is to enhance a cleaner greener environment for the benefit of “the health and safety of the population”.

Due to the nature of industrial operations, the production of hazardous waste is common practice and is regarded as a pollutant to the environment with a potential of resulting in “serious medical conditions in humans and animals”.

Naturally, the fear of a failure to dispose of hazardous waste appropriately has called for strict implementation of penalties for breach of responsibility.

When it comes to the legalities of waste disposal and treatment, the Environmental Protection Authority states that it “enforces strict laws relating to illegal dumping to ensure wrongdoers pay heavy penalties for potentially harming human health and the environment, and deter dumpers from treating the offence.”

This strict enforcement has been well noted in the industrial sphere with many companies suffering the penalties of failure to comply.

As recent as August 2017, Monark, a Melbourne based demolition company, was slapped with a fine of $5,000 and the duty to pay $23,000 in court fees for its illegal dumping of thousands of tonnes of building waste to a disposal site which was not licensed to accept the waste.

Not only was a financial penalty enforced but also the director of Monark who was responsible for overlooking the waste management process was subject to a 12-month good behaviour bond without conviction upon a guilty plea to the charges made against the company.

Unfortunately, instances such as these are not anomalies to the industrial setting with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) imposing a fine of more than $14,000 on a second company for dumping industrial wastes at the same unlicensed location.

The relevant legislation which gives the EPA the right to impose fines vary from State to State. For example, in New South Wales, the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 is the relevant legislation regulating illegal dumping of waste in NSW and for Victoria, it’s the Environment Protection Act 1970.

Despite the different legislations, there is a general definition of illegal waste dumping for all States which is the dealing of unlawful transporting, acceptance, or deposition of waste with further implications should the waste cause either land or water pollution or both. The fines and penalties attached to illegal dumping include on-the-spot fines, which vary according to the severity of breach and impact, strict liability offences, wilful or negligent offences, and a discretionary increase on penalties to the discretion of the EPA.

It is therefore critical for industrial businesses to ensure a strict compliance with the relevant waste management regulations in order to avoid any unnecessary drawbacks in legal impression, company reputation, and financial standing.

Article provided by Rose Lawyers and Conveyancing