Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Proposed minimum environmental standards for scrap metal facilities

The EPA would like to know what you think about proposed changes to environment protection legislation (PDF 198KB).

The changes will introduce minimum environmental standards that will apply to all scrap metal facilities in NSW no matter how much material they store or process.

What do you think?

Review the proposal in the consultation paper and tell us what you think by online submission or email.

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Make a submission online

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By email
Email your submission to:

Submissions must be received by 5pm 18 September 2017.


For more information contact the NSW EPA's Waste Strategy Team:

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131 555

Frequently asked questions

Why have the standards been proposed?

The NSW scrap metal industry plays an important resource recovery and waste management role in NSW.

Unfortunately, some scrap metal businesses have shown poor environmental controls and inadequate management practices. The EPA is concerned about the impact poor management practices could have on the health of our environment, communities and businesses.

The proposed minimum standards will improve scrap metal facility practices to protect human health and the environment by preventing soil and groundwater contamination, water, noise and air pollution, and reducing fire risks.

The new standards will also help create a level playing field by requiring all scrap metal facilities to conduct their business in an environmentally responsible way. This will ensure facilities cannot gain an unfair advantage over those business that do the right thing by choosing not to invest in appropriate infrastructure. 

Who will the standards apply to?

Any site that stores, stockpiles, collects, dismantles, or processes scrap metal from end-of-life vehicles, white goods or other sources, regardless of the quantities they store or process.

What are the new standards?

  1. All end-of-life vehicles, white goods, and other scrap metal must be stored and dismantled/processed on hardstands under covered areas with appropriate drainage infrastructure.
  2. Clean and dirty water systems and areas must be separated (including bunding to separate them), and all dirty water is to be contained and treated on site.
  3. Liquids, spills and chemicals must be handled, stored and disposed of appropriately.
  4. Battery handling and storage areas are to be bunded, covered and on a hardstand.
  5. End-of-life vehicles, white goods, and other scrap metal sent to a hammermill and/or shredder or for other processing either on site or off site must be free of other waste (including waste tyres).
  6. No burning of waste. Mattresses or any other waste that contains metals must not be burnt to make metal more readily accessible. All other types of waste must not be burnt.
  7. Transporting, tipping, handling, processing and storing scrap metal at facilities must be carried out in a controlled and competent manner so noise and vibrations are minimised.
  8. All bunds must be constructed as per the consultation paper guidelines.

What will happen if the proposed standards are adopted?

If the standards are adopted it will become an offence not to comply with them.

Page last updated: 25 July 2017