Hazardous waste, known as ‘prescribed industrial waste’ (PIW) in Victoria’s environment protection laws, is the hazardous by-product of everyday goods and services, such as the manufacturing of motor vehicles, paint and plastics, drycleaning services, fast food outlets, dental surgeries and hospitals. The regulation and management of these wastes is now provided in Victoria through the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009, Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents) which, in July 2009, replaced the Environment Protection (Prescribed Waste) Regulations 1998 and the Industrial Waste Management Policy (Prescribed Industrial Waste) 2000.
Guidance for the new, streamlined regulatory framework is provided in the Industrial Waste Resource Guidelines, an easy-to-use web-based system for finding guidance documents.
Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009
Due to the potential risks to human health and the environment, there is a continued need to control and regulate the handling, management and disposal of PIW. However changes in industry practices, the increasing availability of treatment and recycling infrastructure, and an improved understanding of these materials in the broader community, has created a need to support resource efficiency and to reflect these changes in the Regulations.
The title of the Regulations recognises the resource potential of all industrial wastes with the key intent of the new framework being to significantly improve the rates of reuse and recycling of industrial waste resources in a sustainable way. Other benefits are outlined in the regulatory impact statement (RIS), which was prepared in support of the Regulations.
For support programs on reducing waste please visit the Business Victoria website, www.business.vic.gov.au
Hazard categorisation framework
PIW destined for landfill must be assigned one of three hazard categories – A, B or C.
Category A wastes are banned from landfill and require treatment before disposal.
Category B and C wastes can be accepted at best practice landfills that have approval from EPA to accept such wastes. The aim of the categorisation framework is to improve treatment standards and achieve greater waste separation to help identify further avoidance, reuse or recycling opportunities. There are different landfill levies for Category B, Category C and asbestos.
The two key documents used to categorise PIW are: