What is the Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010 (W2R EPP)?
The Waste to Resources EPP is a legislative framework under the Environment Protection Act that gives the EPA stronger powers to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and increase reuse of valuable resources. It came into effect on 1 September 2010 with staged implementation. The EPP provides:
- stronger enforcement measures for illegal dumping (unlawful disposal of waste) with fines up to $250,000
- prohibition of unlawful stockpiling of waste, with fines up to $250,000
- clearer requirements for waste transporters
- new requirements for the disposal of medical sharps to kerbside collection, that came into effect in September 2012
- opportunities for standardised waste practices within industry sectors using codes of practice.
When did the landfill bans apply?
The landfill bans were applied progressively from 1 September 2010 to 1 September 2013. The staged approach provided time for the development of markets and infrastructure to support the bans.
Does the W2R EPP mean that businesses have to segregate waste?
No, the W2R EPP does not enforce segregation of waste however it is something that is encouraged. From 1 September 2012 metropolitan Adelaide waste is required to go through a resource recovery process before it is sent to landfill. It is at the discretion of the business if the business separates the waste before it is collected for disposal. However it should be noted that the cost of resource recovery will likely increase waste disposal costs, it may be more cost efficient if the business separates the waste themselves before it is collected for disposal.
Do the bans apply to remote areas?
Yes, but there are additional factors for regional and remote areas to be considered. That is why there are further delays on some waste bans in regional South Australia, compared to metropolitan Adelaide. Alternative markets and infrastructure are being considered for regional, remote and Indigenous communities to manage waste and recover and reuse resources. The work done will be conducted in conjunction with the National Waste Policy through utilising national principles, specifications, best practice guidelines and standards.
Where can household waste be deposited?
The Green Industries SA website contains a recycling information directory which provides information on where you can take different materials for recycling.
Is green waste banned from landfill?
Since 1 September 2010 vegetative matter aggregated by council is banned from being deposited to landfill. This is because a system to segregate materials currently exists (through the 3-bin system) and there is a market for the green waste (composting).
Can green waste be composted at home?
From 1 September 2012, unless councils in metropolitan Adelaide provide households with separate collections for green waste and recyclable waste, the residual waste will need to be subject to resource recovery. To avoid the need for resource recovery, most councils will provide householders with a bin for green waste This gives householders the choice to either compost vegetative waste at home, or place it in the green bin provided the council.
What are the obligations of waste transporters?
The W2R EPP defines the requirements for waste transporters. In addition to the W2R EPP requirements, all waste transporters must be licensed to collect and transfer waste; licensing must be sought from the EPA. The waste transporters also need to ensure they are transporting and disposing waste to the appropriate authorised waste depot.
Why are some wastes excluded from the requirement to treat waste before disposal?
There are two groups of wastes excluded from treatment before disposal: high-risk wastes, such as hazardous wastes, which are not required to undergo further treatment because of the associated work healthy and safety risks; and wastes that have already been aggregated, for example by the 3-bin system provided by some councils.
Can waste be disposed on someone’s site with their permission?
The W2R EPP indicates a person is allowed to dispose of waste on another person’s site as long as they are given permission by the owner, but this disposal cannot result in harm, which is defined by the W2R EPP. The person receiving the waste needs to ensure that they are legally allowed to receive the waste. It may be necessary for a licence to be granted for the disposal of waste on their site, and this licence would need to be obtained from the EPA.