Certain wastes have properties that make them hazardous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Some liquid wastes can also be hazardous. In some cases, the ‘hazard’ relates to the activity being carried out with the waste (e.g. transport and handling), while other wastes are inherently hazardous across a range of activities. NSW regulatory requirements take into account the hazard characteristics of a waste relevant to the activity being carried out. For hazardous and liquid waste the activities regulated include generation, transport, storage, treatment and disposal.
Additional regulations for hazardous and liquid wastes
- Licensing may be required for those generating, storing, treating, transporting and wanting to dispose of this waste
- Chemical Control Orders (CCO) - Certain chemicals may have a CCO under the Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act 1985. This is where the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) assesses certain chemicals to ascertain the need to impose specific management restrictions on the chemical’s life cycle.
- Waste tracking - Many hazardous and liquid wastes need to be tracked through transport to their final destination.
- Immobilisation approvals - Hazardous waste generally cannot be disposed of to landfill. Where recycling or reprocessing is not an option for some waste, an immobilisation approval may be sought from the EPA. Waste containing high levels of contaminants which are inherently stable, either naturally or as a result of treatment, may be granted an immobilisation approval to enable landfill disposal.
- Liquid waste levy - The liquid waste levy applies to certain liquid wastes that are required to be tracked in NSW. A levy on liquid waste creates a strong financial incentive for companies to reduce the generation of potentially dangerous liquid wastes, explore cleaner production technologies and increase the recovery of reusable components from liquid waste, such as oil or water.
- Dangerous goods - In addition to complying with relevant waste legislation, a person undertaking activities with waste that is also classified as a ‘dangerous good’ under Commonwealth legislation must also comply with dangerous goods requirements.