Jan 08, 2018
Building materials account for almost half the solid waste generated worldwide. In Australia alone, about 40% of waste generated from construction and demolition is disposed into landfills. For this reason Governments worldwide are turning to specific regulations and legislation to encourage the recycling of these materials into new revenue streams and new business opportunities.
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is a good example of a Government agency who is focused on reducing the effects from construction and demolition (C&D) waste. They recently announced a series of proposed reforms aimed at improving how C&D waste operators handle these types of waste. In addition, it is intended that they will address major concerns from within Government, industry and from the public around the transport of C&D waste from NSW to Queensland where it is cheaper to dispose rather than recover and reuse in NSW.
1. Waste Levies: Significant levies are often imposed upon C&D waste to encourage construction companies to look for alternative uses for the waste rather than sending it to landfills.
2. Waste Minimisation Funds: Funding collected via these levies is often used to set up waste minimisation funds which are then used to fund research and development projects in the recycling sector.
3. Waste Data: Another popular method is employing regulations that make the collection and reporting of waste data and information mandatory. This enables regulators to be more informed of the types of waste going to landfill so they can then look at ways to target specific waste streams in efforts to reduce their environmental impact.
4. Waste Mass Balance Reporting: This is another useful tool for regulators to gain greater visibility on the movements of waste materials through the waste facilities within their region. Waste Mass Balance Reporting requires all participants, typically licenced waste facilities and operators, to provide detailed quality data on the waste materials they receive and what is then done with them. This can be an essential tool in stockpile prevention and understanding what waste types are prone for illegal dumping.
Implementing waste legislation and managing any associated regulations is often a complex and daunting task. Software solutions need to be put in place that can allow for the collection of quality data to support monitoring and reporting regimes while providing insights to inform waste strategy development and decisions.
FINNZ has experience developing the systems needed to support waste minimisation initiatives in both Australia and New Zealand. This has enabled us to build a strong knowledge of the drivers of waste policy and legislation and has given us a clear understanding of how to implement practical IT solutions to manage this process.
One of our most recent projects has been the development and implementation of a system for NSW’s Environmental Protection Authority (NSW EPA) to monitor and track the waste within their state more closely.
The Waste and Resource Reporting Portal (WARRP) has provided the NSW EPA with greater visibility on the types of waste that are being stockpiled and areas where reuse and recovery efforts need to be focused.