From November 1 the Environment Protection Authority will have an increased ability to track waste, crackdown on rogue operators, and enforce reduced thresholds for tyre storage as part of new regulatory oversight of the waste industry.
Environment Minister Rob Stokes said these new requirements will target operators who stockpile waste with no legitimate end use; unnecessarily transport it for long distances for disposal; and who attempt to avoid licensing laws and the waste levy.
“Illegal dumping and waste levy avoidance by unscrupulous operators is undercutting legitimate businesses, distorting the market, causing millions of dollars in clean-up costs to communities and putting our environment and health at risk,” Mr Stokes said.
“This new regulation gives the EPA the licensing and regulatory powers it needs to support the legitimate operation of the waste industry and restrict the potential for illegal and dangerous operations.
Key changes in the new POEO (Waste) Regulation 2014 include:
· Proximity Principle to encourage a localised approach to waste management and mitigate the environmental impacts of unnecessary transport of waste beyond 150km of generation
· Waste levy deductions will be available for roads at landfill sites built from quarried or recycled materials
· Reduced licensing thresholds for the recovery and storage of general waste and tyres (with a 9- month adjustment period)
· Interstate tracking of waste being transported from the Greater Sydney region to another state or territory
“The waste levy will now be triggered earlier for waste operators who act irresponsibly when they excessively stockpile or illegally dispose of their waste, while families and business should see no increase at the recycling yard gate.
“This change is not about generating more levy, it is an incentive to ensure that waste is not left in dangerous stockpiles that can be abandoned at the cost of taxpayers.”