Legislation

Waste management policies


Industrial waste management policies (IWMPs) were among the measures introduced into the Environment Protection Act 1970 by the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste) Act 1985 to improve the management of industrial wastes.

In 2002 the Environment Protection Act was amended by the Environment Protection (Resource Efficiency) Act to allow the Authority scope to develop waste management policies (WMPs). This change means that policies that deal with municipal waste can also be developed, thereby complementing existing arrangements and ensuring that a comprehensive framework of statutory policy can be maintained and strengthened.

WMPs cover the full waste cycle – from generation and use through to disposal, treatment and reuse. WMPs may also allocate responsibility for industrial waste management operations and disposal, and establish the level of technology that should be applied to processes involving wastes.

The Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 came into effect on 1 July 2009, replacing both the Environment Protection (Prescribed Waste) Regulations 1998 and the Industrial Waste Management Policy (Prescribed Industrial Waste) 2000. Guidance to support these Regulations is provided in the Industrial Waste Resource Guidelines

EPA administers the following WMPs:

Waste Management Policy (Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories)

The WMP implements the National Environment Protection (Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories) Measure. The WMP provides a nationally consistent statutory framework in Victoria for the management of the movement of controlled wastes between Victoria and other states and territories originating from commercial, trade or business activities. Core elements of the WMP are the implementation of compatible tracking and notification systems, consultation between interested parties and mutual recognition of licences and permits for transporters.

This policy was gazetted as Waste Management Policy (Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories) No. G30, Gazette 26/7/2012.

Waste Management Policy (National Pollutant Inventory)

The National Environment Protection (National Pollutant Inventory) Measure (NPI NEPM) aims to maintain and improve the ambient air, marine, estuarine and fresh water quality, minimise the environmental impacts associated with hazardous wastes and increase the reuse and recycling of used materials.

The purpose of this policy is to implement the NPI NEPM in Victoria. It involves collecting a broad base of information on emissions of NPI substances to air, land and water and the transfer of NPI substances in waste for treatment, containment or final disposal, from both industry (through reporting obligations imposed on industrial facilities) and domestic sources (estimated by EPA).

This policy was gazetted as the Waste Management Policy (National Pollutant Inventory) No. G40, Gazette 4/10/2012.

Industrial Waste Management Policy (Protection of the Ozone Layer)

This policy was gazetted as the Industrial Waste Management Policy (Protection of the Ozone Layer) No. S193, Gazette 5/11/2001.

The policy impact assessment  is available from the EPA publications catalogue.

Industrial Waste Management Policy (Waste Acid Sulfate Soils)

An acid sulfate soil is any soil, sediment, unconsolidated geological material or disturbed consolidated rock mass containing metal sulfides exceeding criteria published by the Authority. If managed inappropriately, waste acid sulfate soils may oxidise to produce acid which poses a risk to human health and the environment. This policy aims to protect human health and the environment from this risk by providing a management framework and specific requirements for the management of acid sulfate soils in an environmentally responsible manner.

This policy was gazetted as the Industrial Waste Management Policy (Waste Acid Sulfate Soils) No. S125, Gazette 18/9/1999.

Waste Management Policy (Ships’ Ballast Water)

The Environment Protection (Ships’ Ballast Water) Regulations 2006 were introduced by the Victorian Government to support the ballast water requirements.

This policy aims to prevent new invasions and stop the spread of existing marine pests. The policy prevents the discharge of high-risk ballast water into Victorian state waters. To avoid discharges of high risk ballast water, ships must either discharge their ballast safely out at sea or keep high-risk ballast water on board. All ships are required to provide EPA with accurate information on the status and risk of any ballast water contained on their ships prior to arriving in Victorian state waters.

This policy was gazetted as the Waste Management Policy (Ships’ Ballast Water) No. S100, Gazette 27/4/2004.

Waste Management Policy (Siting, Design and Management of Landfills)

Landfills are an important part of Victoria’s waste management infrastructure. While disposal of materials to landfill is the least preferred management option, they will continue to be required in the future to manage those wastes that cannot currently be practicably removed from the waste stream.

This WMP applies to all landfills in Victoria receiving solid non-prescribed waste and/or Category C prescribed industrial waste.

The policy clarifies and strengthens the existing framework through promoting best practice and continuous improvement in the way we plan, site, design and manage landfills in Victoria. The policy also promotes waste minimisation and resource recovery infrastructure that will in turn encourage market opportunities for recycling. It provides a transparent assessment and consultation process to investigate banning specified wastes from landfill disposal where a higher waste management option is practicably available.

This policy was gazetted as the Waste Management Policy (Siting, Design and Management of Landfills) No. S264, Gazette 14/12/2004.

Hard copies (paper) are available from the Information Victoria Bookshop and for viewing at the EPA Victoria Library. EPA has also published an explanation of the policy, Policy Impact Assessment – Waste Management Policy (Siting, Design and Management of Landfills) (publication 968).

Waste Management Policy (Solid Fuel Heating)

The burning of wood (solid fuel) for home heating is a significant source of air pollution in Victoria in the winter months. This policy aims to improve air quality and protect the environment, human health and amenity by reducing emissions from solid fuel heating. It requires that all solid fuel heaters manufactured and sold in Victoria be certified to comply with the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4013). When installed and operated correctly, solid fuel heaters that comply with this standard produce significantly less emissions than non-compliant heaters.

The policy also contains measures to improve the use and operating practices of solid fuel heating appliances already installed in homes. This includes community information and education campaigns that are aimed at assisting householders with these appliances to reduce their smoke emissions.

This policy was gazetted as the Waste Management Policy (Solid Fuel Heating) No. S174, Gazette 27/7/2004.

Waste Management Policy (Used Packaging Materials)

This WMP implements the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure in Victoria. The underlying goals of the WMP are to reduce environmental degradation arising from the disposal of used packaging and to conserve virgin materials.

The WMP encourages the reuse and recycling of used packaging materials by supporting and complementing the voluntary strategies in the Australian Packaging Covenant (the Covenant).

This policy was gazetted as the Waste Management Policy (Used Packaging Materials) No. G17, Gazette 26/04/2012.

The Australian Packaging Covenant is a product stewardship agreement between companies in the packaging supply chain and all levels of government to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer packaging. The WMP ensures that brand owner signatories to the Covenant are not competitively disadvantaged by fulfilling their commitments to the Covenant. The Covenant and related documents are available from the Australian Packaging Covenant website.

The Victorian Government is itself a signatory to the Covenant. Its commitments in support of the Covenant are set out in its Action Plan 2011–15 (PDF 125KB). These are reported against in its 2012 Annual Report (PDF 168KB) (The 2011 Annual Report (PDF 162KB) is also available.)

Note

Extracts from the Victoria Government Gazette are reproduced with the permission of the Crown in right of the State of Victoria, Australia. The State of Victoria accepts no responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any extracts published on this website. Hard copies (paper) are available for viewing at the EPA Victoria Library.

Page last updated on 4 Jun 2013