The updated NSW EPA (2017) Guidelines for the NSW Site Auditor Scheme (3rd Edition), released in November 2017, requires Auditors to check, report on and inform EPA of any non-compliance regarding waste classification and disposal. Non-compliances may trigger an investigation by NSW EPA, and may result in fines.
From our experience, Contractors may argue that the guideline has just been released in November 2017, and that they do not have these obligations for waste generated prior to November 2017. However, the updated November 2017 guidelines outline Auditor obligations to check and report, and the requirement for waste classification has been in place since 1999 (with the current guideline being the NSW EPA Waste Classification Guidelines, 2014)
Section 4.3.7 of NSW EPA (2017) guidelines requires:
- Waste is classified in accordance with the Waste Classification Guidelines – Part 1: Classifying Waste (EPA, 2014) and the waste is taken to a facility that is lawfully able to receive that waste; and
- In relation to reuse for land application purposes, they must ensure their waste meets the requirements of the resource recovery order and resource recovery exemption network.
EPA also states that consultants must assist in complying with the order and exemption and must ensure their work complies with all the requirements of the Waste Guidelines, and the relevant order and exemption. It is an offence to supply information about waste that is false or misleading.
With regards to waste classification, Auditor must check consultant/waste generator:
- Has assessed the waste against the relevant step(s) of the Waste Guidelines.
- Has provided adequate justification for the determined classification of the waste.
If Auditor is not satisfied with waste classification and waste is still onsite, the Auditor must suggest that further work is undertaken to ensure appropriate waste classification.
If Auditor is not satisfied with waste classification and waste has already left the site, the Auditor must note this in the site audit report and notify the EPA.
Waste Disposal and Recycling
With regards to waste disposal, Auditor must check:
- If the waste is taken to a facility licensed by the EPA for waste disposal, the facility’s environment protection licence (EPL) must show it can lawfully receive that waste. A waste facility licensed by the EPA does not necessarily mean it can lawfully receive a class of waste for disposal.
- If the waste is taken for processing to a facility licensed by the EPA, that waste must meet the ‘limit conditions’ for that waste in the EPL.
- If the waste facility is not licensed by the EPA, the facility must have consent from the appropriate regulatory authority to receive that waste for its waste activities.
- The estimated volume of waste taken off site
- Waste disposal receipts (with volume and class of waste)
- Reconciliation documents demonstrating total volume of waste taken offsite is consistent with the total volume of waste generated from the site.
Where an Auditor is not satisifed the waste has been taken to a lawful facility, the Auditor must note this in the SAR and notify the EPA (Director of Waste Compliance) for the following items:
- Where an Auditor is not satisfied the waste has been taken to a lawful facility
- Where an Auditor is not satisfied with the classification of the waste, and the waste has been moved offsite
- Where the Auditor suspects that waste received on the audit site from off site does not meet the definition of VENM, or the conditions of an order
- Where the auditor suspects that waste from the audit site does not meet the definition of VENM or the conditions of an order, and has been supplied to another site for land application
How Can Zoic Assist You?
- Preparation of appropriate waste classification documents
- Waste tracking and collation of information to include in a Validation Report
- Our Site Auditors have an efficient system in checking compliance to the guidelines. If engaged early on in the process, we will be able to provide advice on efficient waste tracking for your contractors and consultants to minimise potential occurrence of waste non-compliances, which require notification to EPA.