Video transcript

If you store waste materials that could catch fire and burn, it is expected that you eliminate the risk of fire from occurring.

Without taking steps to prevent fires, it’s not uncommon for minor fires to break out at waste and resource recovery facilities, and large fires can also occur.

No matter the size of a fire, there are significant impacts to the environment, human health, the community and industry.

We all have a role to play to prevent them.

If you store or manage these types of materials, it’s your responsibility to minimise the risk of fire.

To help you, EPA has a guideline for the management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials.

Download your copy of the guideline from our website https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/CRWM

The Management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials – guideline (publication 1667) (the guideline) provides information on how to identify fire risks and controls for those who receive, store and process CRWM waste.

You can use the guideline, and the supporting materials, to help you put controls in place to manage your fire risk and therefore help prevent harm to human health and the environment.

Why eliminating or reducing risk is important

Major CRWM fires can take days to control and have resulted in evacuations of local communities, long-term health impacts, first aid and hospital treatments. They can also cause short and long-term environmental harm.

Eliminating or reducing the risks of fire will help you:

  • prevent harm to human health and the environment
  • comply with your environmental duties and obligations
  • meet the expectations of your community.

Failing to minimise your fire risk could mean you face:

  • cleanup costs
  • lost work time
  • legal fees
  • fines
  • criminal charges.

Purpose of the guideline

The information in the guideline is general in nature. You can use it to help you understand the fire risks and consider controls that may eliminate or reduce those risks. It also contributes to your state of knowledge.

The guideline is also supported by the Fire prevention: combustible recyclable and waste materials factsheet (publication 1759) and four worked examples. The examples are designed to help identify controls for facilities of different sizes and complexities.;

Read the guideline

The Management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials – guideline (publication 1667) provides information that:

  • outlines the fire risk assessment process
  • identifies controls to prevent and mitigate fires
  • outlines emergency management plans for fires.

You can refer to performance objectives and expected outcomes outlined in the guideline when:

  • selecting a site and designing a new facility
  • managing and storing CRWM at an existing facility.

Example 1: How to apply the CRWM guideline – transfer station only using skip bins to store CRWM (publication 1852)

Example 2: How to apply the CRWM guideline – waste and resource recovery with limited space (publication 1853)

Example 3: How to apply the CRWM guideline – waste and resource recovery on a large space (publication 1854)

Example 4: How to apply the CRWM guideline – metal waste and resource recovery facility (publication 1855)

Assessing and controlling risk: a guide for business (publication 1695)

Industry guidance: supporting you to comply with the general preventative duty (publication1741)

Reasonably practicable (publication 1856)

Summary of waste framework (publication 1756)

Permission scheme policy (publication 1799)

Responding to harm caused by pollution (publication 1991)

Reviewed 28 July 2021