Is your company at risk of waste dumping?

by Suzanne Orme

Large fines, jail terms and damage to a company’s reputation can easily result from failing to effectively manage the risks associated with waste disposal in NSW.

If waste is illegally dumped on land that is not licenced as a waste facility and harms the environment, the maximum penalty is $5million or a 7 year jail sentence. Illegally transporting waste, or causing it to be taken to a place that cannot lawfully receive the waste can cost $1million. Other states also have high fines.

These figures are staggering but while waste represents a compliance issue for all companies, the amount of effort and time spent should be consistent with the degree of risk imposed.  A key issue is that as producer of waste or a consignor of waste from another facility, your company is responsible for ensuring that high-risk waste is properly tracked.  This means you must not allow it to leave your facility unless you are sure that the necessary documentation and checks have first been completed.

To determine whether the waste must be tracked refer to Schedule 1 of the NSW Waste Regulation (2005).  If the final destination is interstate check that State’s regularly requirements which may differ.

All trackable waste loads must be accompanied by a hard copy Transport Certificate (TC) which is derived from the Consignment Authorisation (CA) from the person authorised to transport the waste. The relevant sections of the TC must be signed off as correct by you or your agent (the consignor), the transporter and receiving facility.

The TC contains information such as the character of the waste (solid, liquid, sludge, compressed gas or a combination of types); waste classification (based on the Environmental Guidelines); Waste code; Waste description and Dangerous Good properties.

To manage risks of illegal waste dumping, question the contractors you are dealing with and don’t assume that everything is correct. Go on line to check that the Environment Protection Licence for the landfill or waste processing facility covers the type of waste you are sending. Obtain copies of licenses of drivers of vehicles transporting trackable waste to make sure they are authorised to drive the vehicle.

If you are concerned about what has happened to previous waste shipments, ask the receival facility for completed TCs. These provide information on all stages of the waste movement – picked up, arrived, accepted or rejected, rejected/delivered, processed and they must be kept for 4 years.

Consider obtaining a user ID for the free on-line waste tracking system where you can access this information and keep your eye on what is happening.

Call us on +61 294111764 if you need help




3 thoughts on “Is your company at risk of waste dumping?

  • JonnoDee
    April 28, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Suzy,
    weren’t there some changes to the law last year about the subject of waste dumping?

    • Suzanne Orme
      May 2, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Yes there was an amendment to the POEO Act that affects the Waste industry – aiming to deal with fraud and illegal disposal. Currently the waste levy is applied when waste is received at a licensed landfill for disposal. But there have been cases of some recycling, reprocessing and transfer stations coordinating large scale illegal wage dumping and levy evasion. For example, receiving waste at a recycling facility claiming it is recyclable to avoid the tipping fee then later dumping it.

      The change to the POEO Act moves the point of levy liability from the landfill gate to the recycling gate, ensuring that there will no longer be an incentive for material to be disposed of illegally because the levy has already been paid and there is no potential gain in doing the wrong thing.

      There are other changes to the law such as a new offence for supply false and misleading information by a jail penalty attached.

  • Mary
    May 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Hi suzanne, I want to share you about one my friend’s history..he owns a clinic,last year he dumped medical waste on the land carelessly. few days later he was caught by police and he was fined $5 million dollars for that. Everybody should have to be responsible and conscious enough to save our environment. Otherwise we will be in trouble in near future. every province should be to set Regulated Waste Processing

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