CoR and the waste sector

With maximum penalties set to rise to $3 million for corporations, and $300,000 and up to five years in jail for individuals, participants in the waste supply chain can’t afford to continue to overlook their CoR compliance obligations.

CoR recap

The CoR laws make every party in the waste supply chain responsible for heavy vehicle safety. If a heavy vehicle breach of mass, dimension, load restraint, maintenance or driver speed or fatigue occurs, every person in the chain for that load can be held liable, even if they did not own/operate the vehicle and even if they were not contractually responsible for the particular process which caused the breach. Read more

Legal Eagle: NSW e-waste definition critically out of date

Legal Eagle: NSW e-waste definition critically out of date

The lack of definition is only the beginning. There are no regulations in NSW for the disposal, treatment and eventual fate of e-waste, meaning that it is likely to end up at the bottom of a landfill. This is highly undesirable since e-waste has both hazardous and valuable components which present challenges for dealing with e-waste and opportunities to further recycle. Read more

A step forward for GDT

A step forward for GDT

GDT’s Destructive Distillation process is able to convert end-of-life tyres – a wasted resource and environmental hazard – into high demand valuable raw material by recycling the materials into oil, carbon and steel.

QUT mechanical engineers tested the oil extracted from the old tyres and found that when blended with diesel it would produce a fuel with reduced emissions and no loss of engine performance – more here. Read more

Support for C&D reforms; calls for better enforcement

Support for C&D reforms; calls for better enforcement

In October, the EPA released a suite of reforms in a bid to improve the quality and quantity of reusable C&D waste materials in the state, including the removal of the Proximity Principle, implementation of minimum inspection, sorting, recovering and handling standards, proper processing of C&D waste, and increased penalties for the unsafe transport of waste.

Consultation closed on November 17 and both the Waste Management Association of Australia (WMMA) as well as the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA) have submitted their recommendations and it appears that they are on the same page. Read more

The Bower goes from strength to strength

The Bower goes from strength to strength

Established in 1997, The Bower Reuse & Repair Centre began when a group of Sydney residents got together with aspirations to establish a reuse centre for household items.

They secured funding to build a warehouse – Sydney’s first straw bale construction – and over the years, The Bower has become an environmental charity and cooperative committed to stopping usable items from going to landfill.

In the past two years alone, The Bower has diverted around 291,108 tonnes of household furniture and goods away from landfill for reuse with their collection services workshops in Marrickville and Parramatta. Read more

Is this the end of the Proximity Principle? Probably not.

Is this the end of the Proximity Principle? Probably not.

Last month, the EPA released draft construction and demolition waste reforms, which included the removal of the Proximity Principle that would impact other waste streams as well.

NSW EPA executive director, waste and resource recovery Steve Beaman, who spoke at a Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA) breakfast briefing on November 8 on the C&D reforms, told attendees that the plan to remove the Proximity Principle was largely because people were “mucking around with it” and it became a challenge for the EPA. Read more

Legal Eagle: Will the proposed C&D reforms level the playing field?

Legal Eagle: Will the proposed C&D reforms level the playing field?

The purpose of the consultation paper is to consult industry on the proposed changes to the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (NSW) (Waste Regulation). As many would be aware, the introduction of this legislation in 2014 was meant to “provide a level playing field for waste operators” but it is widely thought that this was not achieved.

The proposed amendments are promoted as being required to address the ongoing concerns in the construction and demolition waste sector and to meet the objectives of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) (POEO Act). Whilst the EPA has branded the proposed changes as being for the construction and demolition waste sector, it is apparent that, if legislated, the changes will extend to the operations of many more industry waste sectors. Read more

The problem of illegal dumping

The problem of illegal dumping

Case study: refining the definition of waste

Clients regularly ask MRA why they need a waste licence for an activity which on the face of it might not look like waste processing.

Recent Land and Environment Court (LEC) and Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) decisions have clarified the meaning of “waste” in NSW and it is important that people working in the sector understand exactly what the EPA, the legislation, and Courts mean by the term. Read more

NSW council amalgamations - lessons, trends, considerations

NSW council amalgamations – lessons, trends, considerations

On May 12, two proclamations under the Act commenced and 19 newly amalgamated councils began operations, including Armidale Regional Council, the merger of Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra Shire Councils, Inner West Council, comprising Ashfield, Leichhardt Municipal and, Marrickville Councils, and CanterburyBankstown Council, merging Bankstown City and Canterbury City Councils.

12 merger proposals are pending and the Minister has decided that 14 proposals will not proceed, including Manly, Mosman Municipal and Warringah Councils, as well as Tamworth Regional and Walcha Councils. Read more

Top tips for planning recycling communications

Top tips for planning recycling communications

The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) was faced with this challenge after being awarded funding to deliver a set of five region-wide waste campaigns across its population of 1.6 million people, including one focused on improving household kerbside recycling.

SSROC planned to commission an agency to develop strong marketing and communications strategies for each campaign area that would also align with the NSW EPA’s key program resources. However, with a tight budget, a large group of key stakeholders and a diverse population to reach, choosing the right agency at the right price would be difficult without a specific audience, a clear set of outcomes to achieve, and agreement between their member councils. Read more