From 1 July 2021, new environmental laws come into effect. They focus on  prevention of harm to the environment and human health from pollution and waste. The centrepiece of these new laws are duties relating to environment protection, including the generation, transport, and receipt of waste.

If you are a business that deals with waste, you have duties. Dealing with waste includes generating, disposing of, handing on, transporting or receiving waste. Your obligations to manage waste are central to complying with the general environmental duty (GED).

You need to manage your risks when you generate, dispose of, transport, or receive waste. Requirements  for different waste categories accumulate according to risk. 

For example, you must use a permitted vehicle if you deposit, transport or receive reportable priority waste (RPW), excluding waste tyres. You must use the Waste Tracker system to inform the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) each time your RPW changes hands across the chain of responsibility.

To find out if you have RPW you can use a waste classification procedure.

To meet RPW waste duties, you must:
  • take reasonable steps to identify and assess alternatives to waste disposal. 
  • isolate the waste to enable resource recovery 
  • classify your waste 
  • provide information about the waste to the next person in the chain of responsibility
  • report to EPA, in real time, each time the waste is disposed of, or handed on. You must use EPA’s electronic Waste Tracker tool to comply with this duty.
  • transport only in a permitted vehicle (other than for waste tyres)
  • take reasonable steps to contain the waste and prevent escape or contamination. 

Reviewed 24 June 2021