Transport Canberra and City Services


The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Act 2016

Summary

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Act 2016 (the Waste Act) was passed on August 4th, 2016 and commenced on July 1st, 2017. The Waste Act repeals and replaces the Waste Minimisation Act 2001. The Waste Act closely aligns with the Government's waste management policy objectives and complements objects of other related legislation, notably the Environment Protection Act 1997 (EPA).

The accompanying Waste Management and Resource Recovery Regulation 2017 (Regulation) commenced on July 15th, 2017. The new regulatory framework established by the Waste Act and the Regulation is intended to facilitate and reward good practice in waste collection, transportation, recovery and reuse.

The Waste Act

The Waste Act objectives are to:

  • Minimise the generation of waste;
  • Minimise the amount of waste that goes to landfill;
  • Maximise the recovery and re-use of resources;
  • Support innovation and investment in waste management;
  • Promote responsibility for waste reduction.

A key feature of the Waste Act is the introduction of regulatory and enforcement tools that enable the ACT Government to manage the collection, storage, recovery, recycling and reuse of waste in the ACT. Through improved resource recovery, it is anticipated that the Act will also encourage investment in waste facilities in the ACT to cater for waste streams, such as mixed commercial waste and household residual wastes.

To support the Waste Act objectives, the Waste Act imposes conditions in line with community expectations on waste management by waste businesses, including waste facilities and waste transporters, operating within the ACT.

Regulation

The regulatory framework established by the Act directly supports the achievement of the resource recovery objectives in the ACT Waste Management Strategy 2011-2025. The Strategy is the key Government policy statement outlining resource recovery aspirations and future directions. The new regulatory framework established by the Act is intended to facilitate and reward good practice in waste collection, transportation, recovery and reuse.

To support the effective management of waste, the Act will require waste transporters and waste management facilities to record information on the waste they collect or receive and to make that information available to Government agencies. These reports will assist us to analyse commercial waste reuse and disposal practices.

The Regulations include:

  1. a clear expression of its functions and objectives;
  2. a clear strategic policy and operational framework, ensuring that responsibilities under the Act are easily understood;
  3. a simple licensing system for waste facilities and a registration system for waste transporters;
  4. offences and penalties which reflect the importance of well-managed waste handling, reuse and disposal;
  5. transparent regulatory, investigation and enforcement powers including:
  6. data collection to inform policy and manage waste flows;
  7. powers to issue directions;
  8. entry, search and seizure powers; and
  9. penalties for offences.

Waste transporter registration and waste facility licence application

From July 1st 2017, waste transporters and waste facilities can apply for a licence or registration using the following link: https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/4297; for further information, please see the FAQ below or call Access Canberra on 6207 7845.

FAQ

Householders

Q: Will the Waste Act impact my ACT Government provided residential kerbside collection schedule?A: The Waste Act will not cause any change to your collection schedule.

Q: What will I need to do under the Waste Act?
A: The Waste Act contains obligations which are long established practices in the ACT. Responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring waste is correctly separated between approved recyclable, non-recyclable and green waste vegetation material when placed inside an ACT Government provided waste bin for collection.
  • Waste is stored in a waste container, and the waste container is secured to ensure waste does not escape.
  • Waste containers are stored within the property boundary, except when presented for collection. Residents will be required to bring their bins back into the property boundary as soon as reasonable following collection service.
  • Residents are required to place their bins for collection in a way which results in an unobstructed access for collection.

Q: The Waste Act allows includes offences, will fines be issued to residents?
A: The Waste Act and Regulation include offence provisions which are one mechanism to ensure an efficient waste management system is in place. Penalties are only applied in situations where the use of penalties would be deemed reasonable. Initial steps taken by regulators are educational in nature, ensuring that all involved parties are aware of their obligations and are provided with appropriate opportunity to resolve the issue.

Q: My ACT Government residential bin is damaged how do I request maintenance or replacement?
A. Applications for ACT Government general waste or recycling bin repairs / replacements can be made free of charge. Applications can be completed online or by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Green waste bin maintenance or bin replacement applications can be completed online or by calling JJ Richards and Sons Pty. LTD on (02) 6270 5000 (8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday).

Q: My bin is currently stored outside of my property boundary because I am unable to move it due to disability or health condition, can I request assistance?
A. Wheeled bin assistance for ACT Government provided residential general waste and recycling bins may be available FREE of charge for people affected by a disability or where circumstances no longer allow the resident to safely bring their bins to the kerb and back. For further information, visit the Access Canberra website.

Q: Will a levy on waste be introduced?
A: The Introduction of a levy is one approach to be considered following a comprehensive analysis of reported data which is expected to identify opportunities for waste resource recovery improvements.

ACT Businesses

Q: My business is not a waste management business; does the Waste Act apply to me?
A: Yes, Businesses who produce waste but are not waste management businesses have limited obligations under the act, similar to a householder.

  • Waste is stored in a waste container, and the waste container is secured to ensure waste does not escape.
  • Waste containers are stored within the property boundary.

Q: My business wishes to store a commercial hopper on public land, how do I request this?A: Applications for the placement of commercial waste containers on public unleased land will need to be submitted to and approved by Public Land Use. Further information is available on the Access Canberra website.

Q: The commercial / privately owned waste container used by my business has a damaged lid, will the ACT Government fix this?
A: The ACT Government is not responsible for the maintenance or replacement of commercial / privately owned bins. It is recommended that the damage is brought to the attention of the waste container owner or relevant waste transport business.

Q: The commercial / privately owned waste container used by my business was not designed with a lid, what should I do?
A: Some waste containers are designed without lids, and therefore the use of a lid is not possible. However, businesses must ensure that waste is secure from spillage during storage.

Q: Will the Waste Act cause commercial waste collection or waste facility prices to increase?

A: The Waste Act does not require commercial waste collection or waste facilities to increase their fees, however businesses may recover costs through their fees which could result in an increase.

Q: My Business has received an approved minister waiver for a Charitable Organisations Landfill Fee Waiver, will the Waste Act affect this?
A: No, the Waste Act does not impact the eligibility of Charitable Organisations Landfill Fee Waivers.

ACT Community

Q: Will the Waste Act cause commercial waste collection or waste facility prices to increase?
A: The Waste Act does not require commercial waste collection or waste facilities to increase their fees; however businesses may recover costs through their fees which could result in an increase.

Q: I am approved for a Charitable Organisations Landfill Fee Waiver; will the Waste Act affect the waiver?
A: No, the Waste Act does not impact the eligibility of Charitable Organisations Landfill Fee Waivers.

Q: Will a levy on waste be introduced?
A: The Introduction of a levy is one approach to be considered following a comprehensive analysis of reported data which is expected to identify opportunities for waste resource recovery improvements.

Waste Transporters

Q: Do I need to register as a waste transporter?
A: Waste transporter means a waste management business that does any of the following:

  1. collects waste;
  2. transports waste.

Q: What if I run both a waste facility and waste transport business?
A: Waste management businesses who operate as both a waste facility and waste transporter will need to submit an application for each waste facility and waste transport business operating within the ACT. Applications for the licence and registration can be completed in one submission by selecting both application options.

Q: Will the cost of waste transporter registration increase per vehicle listed?
A: The registration fee is applied per waste transporting business and as such the fee will not increase based on the number of vehicles utilised by the waste transporter.

Q: What if I am a clinical waste transporter?
A: Clinical waste transporters will also be required to register under the Act.

Q: What if I am an ACT EPA authorised transporter?
A: EPA authorised waste transporters will also be required to register under the Waste Act.

Q: What information and documentation will I need to provide to complete my application?
A: Waste transporters handling regulated waste will be required to provide their relevant ACT EPA authorisation number where prompted.

Q: When will I receive an invoice for my application?
A: An approximate cost of waste transporter registration and / or waste facility licence will be provided on the completion of the application. An invoice for payment will be provided to applicants following the approval of their application. The invoice will contain conditions of payment and methods of payment.

Q: How do I correct / update my application?
A: To correct or update your application, please email: tccs.wasteregulation@act.gov.au.

Please include:

  • The application reference code, if known.
  • The company name
  • The business ABN or ACN
  • Waste facility or waste transporter business address.
  • The corrections / update you would like to make.

Q: Why does the application form ask for my transport vehicle details?
A: The vehicle details will be used to determine how many vehicle display cards will be required and to verify data reported by waste facilities and waste transporters.

Q: Will I be required to display evidence of registration in my waste transport vehicle?
A: Yes. Registered waste transporters will receive a registration certificate and waste transport vehicle registration cards for each vehicle listed on the application following the approval of their application. The vehicle registration cards are to be displayed clearly and permanently on any vehicle used by the registered transporter for transporting waste.

Q: Where do I get a vehicle registration card?
A: Waste transport vehicle registration cards will be sent by post to the waste transporter following the approval of their application. The number of licences provided will be based on the number of vehicles listed at time of application or as updated to tccs.wasteregulation@act.gov.au.

Q: Why is my business required to report waste activity?
A: The primary objective of the Waste Act is to promote and reward responsible practices in waste management and resource recovery. Waste activity reporting is a vital component of an efficient waste management system, where waste recovery and reuse are encouraged, and well-managed waste handling is enforced.

Waste facilities and transporters will be required to report on their waste activity and submit this information to the Government on a quarterly basis.

Q: How and when do I report my waste activity?
A: Waste facilities and transporters will be required to report on their waste activity and submit this information to the Government on a quarterly basis.

Q: Will a levy on waste be introduced?
A: The Introduction of a levy is one approach to be considered following a comprehensive analysis of reported data which is expected to identify opportunities for waste resource recovery improvements.

Waste Facilities

Q: Do I need to apply for a waste facility licence?
A: Waste facility means a site used by a waste management business for the storage, sorting, treatment, processing, or disposal of waste.

Q: What if I run multiple waste facilities?
A: Applications for a licence is per facility, and therefore each facility will need to be separately licenced.

Q: What if I run both a waste facility and waste transport business?
A: Waste management businesses who operate as both a waste facility and waste transporter will need to submit an application for each waste facility and waste transport business operating within the ACT. Applications for the licence and registration can be completed in one submission by selecting both application options.

Q: What information and documentation will I need to provide to complete my application?
A: Waste facility operators located on leased or public unleased land will be required to provide a copy of their Development Approval allowing for the proposed waste activity.

Q: When will I receive an invoice for my application?
A: An approximate cost of waste transporter registration and / or waste facility licence will be provided on the completion of the application. An invoice for payment will be provided to applicants following the approval of their application. The invoice will contain conditions of payment and methods of payment.

Q: How do I correct / update my application?
A: To correct or update your application, please email: tccs.wasteregulation@act.gov.au.

Please include:

  • The application reference code, if known.
  • The company name
  • The business ABN or ACN
  • Waste facility or waste transporter business address.
  • The corrections / update you would like to make.

Q: Will I be required to display the facility licence?
A: No, however, the licence will need to be kept on the licenced premises and be presented to an authorised officer on request.

Q: Why is my business required to report waste activity?
A: The primary objective of the Waste Act is to promote and reward responsible practices in waste management and resource recovery. Waste activity reporting is a vital component of an efficient waste management system, where waste recovery and reuse are encouraged, and well-managed waste handling is enforced.

Q: How and when do I report my waste activity?
A: Waste facilities and transporters will be required to report on their waste activity and submit this information to the Government on a quarterly basis.

Q: Will a levy on waste be introduced?
A: The Introduction of a levy is one approach to be considered following a comprehensive analysis of reported data which is expected to identify opportunities for waste resource recovery improvements.

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

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