Controlled waste is the most hazardous category of waste and includes those wastes that exhibit toxicity, chemical or biological reactivity, environmental persistence, or the ability to bio-accumulate or enter the food chain. These wastes need to be carefully managed and are closely regulated because of their potential to adversely impact human health and the environment. Some controlled wastes, such as tyres, are not strictly hazardous but they may also need special management.
The EPA has a statutory duty to protect the environment from the effects of controlled waste. Its powers range from requiring organisations to submit controlled waste data reports to enforcing the relevant provisions of the
Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 and other relevant legislation.
The terms hazardous waste, prescribed waste and controlled waste are used by various Australian environment protection agencies and to all intents and purposes are interchangeable. Tasmania has adopted the terminology of the
National Environment Protection (Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories) Measure 2004 (Controlled Waste NEPM) which uses the term controlled waste.
Controlled waste is defined in the
Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) and the
Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2020. Controlled wastes are listed in List 1, Schedule A of the Controlled Waste NEPM and are taken to possess one or more of the characteristics in
List 2 unless demonstrated otherwise. The
waste classification codes of controlled waste used in Tasmania are based on List 1, Schedule A of the Controlled Waste NEPM but include several other wastes prescribed in the Regulations.