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Environment Protection Authority

NSW EPA proposes minimum recycling standards for construction and demolition waste

Media release: 21 October 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has today released for public consultation draft amendments to improve the quality and quantity of reusable construction and demolition waste material in NSW.

The proposed reforms introduce new targets for the sorting, recycling and disposal of construction and demolition (C&D) waste at waste facilities that receive more than 6,000 tonnes per year and that deal with majority of C&D waste in NSW.

Construction and demolition waste includes excavated material such as rock and soil, waste asphalt, concrete, plasterboard, and timber.

Proposals also include enhanced requirements around asbestos transport and disposal to reduce potential harm, improved practices at landfills including addressing waste exhumation, and clarifications around the administration and application of the waste levy.

NSW EPA Executive Director of Waste and Resource Recovery Steve Beaman said the proposed changes will help to protect the NSW environment and human heath, and to achieve the state’s recycling target of 80 per cent for C&D waste by 2021.

“By improving the quality of recycled construction and demolition product before it leaves the waste facility we can reduce the potential for load contamination and increase the amount of material that can be recycled back into productive re-use opportunities,” Mr Beaman said.

“We are also helping to protect the health of our environment by ensuring that contaminated waste is identified, separated and appropriately disposed of before it leaves the recycling yard and is not mixed in with recycled waste purposed for reuse in our communities.

“To help set the bar for improved recycling, the reforms also include minimum annual resource recovery targets of 75 per cent for a facility that receives more than 30,000 tonnes of C&D waste per year, and 50 per cent for facilities that receive between 6,000 and 30,000 tonnes per year.  

“These facilities are processing the majority of construction and demolition waste in NSW.

“In a modern waste environment such as ours these standards are both expected and achievable.

“This public consultation period is an important time for the waste industry, stakeholders and interested members of the public to have their say on the proposed changes and I encourage them to provide their comments.”

The proposed changes are outlined in the paper New minimum standards for managing construction and demolition waste in NSW, available on the EPA website. Consultation will be open for public comment from 21 October until 17 November. The EPA will also be holding industry forums in the coming weeks.

More information, including the Consultation Paper, how to comment and details of the forums can be found on the EPA website here: www.epa.nsw.gov.au/wasteregulation/managing-construction-demolition-waste-minimum-standards.htm

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Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 21 October 2016