Waste tracking for receiving facilities
Waste tracking helps stamp out illegal dumping, prevents waste going to the wrong facility and stops unfair competition.
The following information will help you understand your responsibilities as a receiving facility and determine what you need to do to comply with waste tracking.
Type of waste that must be tracked
The types of waste that must be tracked are listed in Schedule 1 of the Environment Protection Act 1993. For more information see the fact sheets Characterising your waste and Waste that must be tracked.
A consignment authorisation is issued to a waste consignor (either a waste producer or a transporter acting on their behalf) by an approved receiving facility or by the EPA. It allows the transport of specified waste from a consignor to a receiving facility. It can cover multiple loads and is valid for up to one year.
A separate paper transport certificate must accompany each load of waste transported.
Contact the EPA for more information about obtaining an approval to issue consignment authorisations.
A paper waste transport certificate is a document containing required information about a load of waste and must accompany that load of waste during transport. It includes information about the waste, the consignor, transporter and receiving facility. Users of the EPA's online waste tracking system can create a transport certificate using the system.
What do you need to do when waste arrives?
When waste arrives with a consignment authorisation and a waste transport certificate:
- Check that the consignment authorisation for the waste is valid.
- Obtain and complete the relevant sections of the waste transport certificate.
- Ensure that you are legally able to accept the waste.
- Notify the waste consignor, within 14 days of accepting or rejecting the waste, that the waste was accepted or rejected.
When waste arrives without a consignment authorisation or a waste transport certificate
If your receiving facility is licensed to store, treat or dispose waste, you may accept waste that does not have a valid consignment authorisation or a waste transport certificate, or has a transport certificate that is inaccurate.
If waste arrives without a valid consignment authorisation and you accept the waste, you must notify the EPA in writing within 3 working days of accepting the waste.
If waste arrives without a transport certificate, you must:
- generate, and complete to the extent possible, a transport certificate, and
- notify the EPA in writing within 3 working days of the waste arriving.
If waste arrives with a transport certificate which does not match the waste, you must, within 3 days of accepting or rejecting the waste, advise the EPA of what you consider inaccurate in the transport certificate.
Can you accept or reject waste?
Whether or not there is a consignment authorisation or waste transport certificate, you can accept (provided your licence permits you to do so) or reject the waste.
You do not need to decide immediately when the waste arrives whether to accept or reject the waste.
You have up to 21 days in which to decide. In this time you may, for example, obtain samples and perform tests or request further documentation about the waste before making your decision.
If you reject the waste you must:
- advise the waste transporter to transport the waste to a nominated receiving facility that is licensed to accept the waste, or to return it to the waste consignor
- notify the EPA in writing, within 3 working days from when you reject the waste, that the waste has been rejected.
If waste is accepted at a waste facility, any subsequent transport of the waste from this facility must be treated as a new consignment of waste. You must use a new waste transport certificate together with a relevant consignment authorisation.
Receiving facilities must keep copies of waste transport certificates for at least 12 months.
Receiving facilities not using an approved online tracking system will also need to keep copies of other records.
Most notifications required under the regulation can be done online using the EPA online tracking system.
Penalties for non-compliance
Failure to comply with a licence condition is a breach of section 45(5) of the Environment Protection Act 1993. This may result in the EPA taking regulatory action against the licensee for contravening a condition of an environmental authorisation (maximum penalty $120,000).
There are significant penalties for those caught illegally dumping waste. For individuals, penalties can be as high as $500,000 or 4 years imprisonment. For a corporate body the penalty can be as high as $2 million.
Waste producers or transporters who dispose of waste illegally could be fined up to $120,000 and face up to two years imprisonment and corporations face fines of up to $250,000, under clause 10 of the Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010. Poor operators could even have their EPA licence revoked.
It is an offence to provide false or misleading information and can result in a maximum fine of $60,000.
Online tracking system
The EPA online tracking system provides a method of meeting your obligations under the waste tracking requirements. Online tracking helps reduce the burden of paperwork on businesses, and makes enforcement and compliance easier. For example, businesses tracking waste movements online are not required to submit paper forms, as the EPA can automatically collate the required data.
The EPA online tracking system can be used for waste transported within SA or into SA from other states or territories.
Find out more about the online tracking system.