The threat of fire at waste and resource recovery facilities is very serious, and the Victorian Government is committed to reducing this risk. In August 2017, an interim Waste Management Policy (Resource Recovery Facilities) (WMP) (Victorian Government Gazette) was implemented placing requirements on sites that receive and store combustible recyclable and waste materials (CRWM).
To support compliance with the interim policy, Management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials - guideline (publication 1667) was developed by EPA, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) in consultation with a wide range of government and waste industry representatives.
The Waste Management Policy (Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials) came into effect on 28 August 2018, replacing the interim policy. DELWP and EPA worked together to consult with industry and the community on development of this policy and review of the current guideline Management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials - guideline (publication 1667). An updated guideline will be released later this year.
This policy defines CRWM as recyclable and waste materials that could create a fire hazard, including but not limited to paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, rubber, tyres, tyre-derived waste, textile, organic material, refuse-derived fuel, specified electronic waste, metal and other materials with combustible contaminants, and combustible by-products of metal processing activities, and may include industrial or municipal waste.
The policy, and regulatory responses to reduce the risks of stockpiling, will contribute to ensuring that Victoria’s waste and resource recovery system remains robust and effective.
Consultation now closed
Consultation on the draft policy, the supporting impact assessment, and the existing guidelines closed on 1 August 2018. DELWP and EPA conducted various engagement and communication activities to ensure all stakeholder understood the proposed policy and had an opportunity to provide comment.
Managing combustible recyclable and waste materials in Victoria: Response to comments, and written submissions can be accessed on Engage Victoria. The response to comments summarises the issues, concerns and comments raised during the consultation. It provides the government's response to these comments, including how feedback has been considered in the final design of the waste management policy.
An updated guideline will be released later this year. Until then, the current Management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials - guideline (publication 1667) is to be used for practical guidance on how to comply with the policy.
Once the updated guideline has been released our aim is to work with the industry to test its application in supporting compliance with the policy, and to identify the need for additional support materials.