Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Reduced licensing thresholds for waste activities

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 introduces new thresholds at which the processing, recovery, and storage of waste trigger the requirement to hold an environment protection licence. The new, lower thresholds will ensure there is a level playing field across the waste industry. The changes are listed in the following table.

Activity

Previous thresholds

New thresholds*

Resource recovery

The lesser of 2500 tonnes or 2500 m3 on-site at any one time, processing of 120 tonnes a day or 30,000 tonnes a year

1000 tonnes or 1000 m3 on-site at any one time, processing more than 6000 tonnes a year (Regulated Area)

2500 tonnes or 2500 m3 on-site at any time, processing more than 12,000 tonnes a year (Outside the regulated Area)

Waste processing (non-thermal treatment)

The lesser of 2500 tonnes or 2500 m3 on-site at any one time, processing of 120 tonnes a day or 30,000 tonnes a year

1000 tonnes or 1000 m3 on-site at any one time, processing more than 6000 tonnes a year (Regulated Area)

2500 tonnes or 2500 m3 on-site at any time, processing more than 12,000 tonnes a year (Outside the regulated Area)

Waste storage

The lesser of 2500 tonnes or 2500 m3 stored on-site at any one time, or receiving 30,000 tonnes a year

1000 tonnes or 1000 m3 stored on-site at any one time, storing more than 6000 tonnes a year (Regulated Area)

2500 tonnes or 2500 m3 stored on-site at any time, storing more than 12,000 tonnes a year (Outside the regulated Area)

What problem led to the change?

Unregulated waste activities have the potential to cause considerable harm to the environment and human health. The EPA considers that the risks posed by the processing, recovery, storage and disposal of waste could be mitigated further if lower thresholds were in place. The changes will strengthen environment protection, ensure a level playing field for industry and relieve pressure on local government resources.

When do new facilities need to hold a licence?

There is a nine-month transition period within which facilities required to be licensed as a result of these changes can apply for an environment protection licence.

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Page last updated: 14 January 2015