Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Have your say on new environmental measures for scrap metal businesses

Media release: 26 July 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is inviting the community to have a say on proposed minimum environmental standards for scrap metal facilities.

The scrap metal industry in NSW ranges from small car wrecking yards to large metal processing facilities, and plays an important role in diverting waste from landfill and recovering resources.

While many operators in the industry are doing the right thing, some scrap metal businesses have shown poor environmental controls and inadequate management practices. Common issues across the industry have required regulatory action by the EPA and other agencies. These issues include management of oils and solvents, air pollution and odour issues, noise and vibration, fire risks and the on-site management of waste. Inadequate management of these issues can lead to pollution incidents, including soil and groundwater contamination. 

To address these environmental concerns, the EPA has drafted a consultation paper that outlines proposed minimum environmental standards across the scrap metal industry. These standards include things like putting controls in place for the safe storage and disposal of liquids and chemicals, no burning of waste on site, measures to minimise noise and vibrations, and the construction of bunds to manage any spills. If adopted these standards would be legislated and apply across the industry.

EPA Executive Director Waste and Resource Recovery Steve Beaman said the proposed standards were an important step in the right direction.

“Many scrap metal businesses are doing the right thing but there are some outliers putting the environment at risk,” Mr Beaman said.

“It’s important for the community – including people working in the scrap metal business – to have their say on these proposed environmental standards so that when they come into force, they accurately reflect the challenges and realities of the industry.”

To view the consultation paper and provide feedback please visit the EPA website    

The submission period closes at 5pm on 18 September 2017.

Contact: EPA public affairs

Page last updated: 26 July 2017