Landfill operators and compost facilities are required to prepare annual reports for thre EPA and provide waste data based on the Tasmanian Solid Waste Classification System. The EPA also receives information from a range of non-municipal sources such as industrial recyclers and this information helps to provide a better picture of Tasmania's overall recovery rate.
Tasmanian Solid Waste Classification System
Improvements in data collection and waste classification have resulted in a more accurate profile of waste generation and recycling in Tasmania by each sector.
The reporting of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste generation, which is considered low compared with national benchmarks, is unlikely to accurately reflect the actual level of activity and therefore waste generation within this sector. This is because much of the State's C&D waste ends up in clean fill sites and this does not need to be reported under either the Tasmanian Waste Classification System or National Waste Reporting. There is a move toward greater C&D recycling due to the opening of a number of recycling facilities in the State.
The EPA has been working closely with Local Government for a number of years in relation to data collection and information sharing. This is important to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the movement, resource recovery and disposal of materials across the State within the Local Government Sector.
Table 1. Waste generation (tonnes) and recovery rates over the past eight years.
Waste disposed to landfill and disposal rates by sector over the past eight years.
Each year the EPA issues Consignment Authorisations (CA) for controlled wastes entering Tasmania from interstate. In total 4675 tonnes of material entered Tasmania in 2016-17. Table 3 provides a summary of controlled waste approval and authorisations over the past five years. Most of the authorisations in 2016-17 were issued to the Australian Antarctic Division for waste returned to Australia from the Antarctic (known as RTA Waste). The remaining CAs included one from Western Australia and five from Victoria, supporting a trial currently being conducted for the use of material as an alternative fuel. Controlled waste that cannot be disposed of in Tasmania is also shipped to other jurisdictions for reuse, processing, or disposal. During 2016-17, 235 certificates were issued for controlled wastes to be shipped to Victoria and South Australia.
The disposal of low-level contaminated material to landfill requires EPA approval. During 2016-17, approvals were issued for the disposal of approximately 9786 tonnes of this type of material, with a total of 58 Disposal Approvals issued. The tonnage listed during this reporting period has increased considerably as a direct result of the waste arising from significant development projects including the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment project and the Hedberg UTAS project.
Each year the EPA receives requests from Tasmanian businesses to approve the handling of controlled wastes under Regulation 12 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2010. Environmental Approvals issued under this Regulation are usually for a period of between 12 months and 2 years. During 2016-17, 34 Environmental Approvals were issued, 23 of these were new approvals and 11 were extensions to existing approvals. The average duration of these approvals was 10½ months, and during this period one application was refused and one withdrawn. As at 30 June 2017, only 48 Environmental Approvals were still in place.
Controlled Waste Approvals and Authorisations over the past four years
|Consignment Authorisations – Waste into Tasmania||24||24||26||29||29|
|Interstate Waste Transport Certificates – Waste out of Tasmania ||340||411||445||269||235|
|Environmental Exemptions Issued||4||11||0||2||0|
|Environmental Exemptions Total||4||15||5||5||5|
|Environmental Approvals Issued||34||38||49||50||34|
|Environmental Approvals Total||42||67||53||43||48|
The EPA regulates the transport of controlled waste. Transporters must be registered to transport controlled waste, and must comply with the conditions attached to their registration. Currently, 165 businesses are registered to transport a range of controlled wastes and during 2016-17, there were 11 registrations issued and no revocations of registrations (see Table 4).
Controlled Waste Transport Certificated of Registrations Issued over the past five years
The EPA Director has the authority to exempt persons or companies from the requirement to be registered under Regulation 24 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Controlled Waste Tracking) Regulations 2010. Exemptions from registration are only approved in exceptional circumstances. During 2016-17, no applications for exemptions were received. The remaining five current exemptions were issued in previous financial years. The exemptions were approved for the transport of asbestos, contaminated soil, containers contaminated with a controlled waste residue, waste mineral oils and Waste substances and articles containing or contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs) and/or polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs). The holders of these exemptions must comply with the handling conditions for all registered transporters.