News and updates

EPA issues works approval to allow e-waste to be recycled

27 Oct 2017

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued a works approval to a Campbellfield company for a facility on Sydney Road that will allow it to recycle electronic waste (e-waste).

MRI (Aust) Pty Ltd was granted the works approval to manually disassemble e-waste, including nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries, into raw materials for resale.

EPA Development Assessments Manager Tim Faragher said the e-waste stream is growing up to three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia.

“The Victorian Government has committed to banning e-waste from landfill in Victoria and the number of e-waste re-processors is predicted to grow following the ban’s introduction,” Mr Faragher said.

“Both e-waste and processed e-waste materials must be handled and stored with due care in order to avoid leakage and the release of hazardous substances into air, water or soil.”

Mr Faragher said EPA’s assessment of the proposal had focused on key environmental issues including potential dust emissions and land and stormwater contamination.

“EPA’s assessment of the proposal focused on key environmental issues including potential dust emissions, land and stormwater contamination and ensuring that suitable controls were put in place,” Mr Faragher said.

Mr Faragher said over 90% of e-waste and batteries received by the site would be recycled with any residual waste sent to a facility licensed to receive it.

Works approvals are issued by EPA Victoria under the Environment Protection Act 1970. They are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact.

The company required an EPA works approval as under new regulations, e-waste treatment facilities with the capacity to reprocess more than 500 tonnes of specified electronic waste per year are considered scheduled premises.

The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 commenced on 25 June 2017 and define which types of premises in Victoria are considered scheduled premises. Occupiers of these sites are required to obtain an EPA works approval and/or licence.

MRI’s works approval application was advertised for public comment on 23 August 2017 in the Herald Sun and the Hume Leader; no public submissions from the community were received.

The application was referred to City of Hume Council, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), WorkSafe Victoria and Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) for assessment and comment.

Page last updated on 27 Oct 2017