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