What does this mean?

Since October 2007, all waste going to landfill must be pre-treated. For business waste producers, this means that you must have reduced either the amount or the impact of all waste that you pass on to waste collectors. In order for your actions to count as pre-treatment of waste, they must achieve three things:

  1. the actions must be a ‘physical, chemical or biological process’. Hand sorting waste to remove recyclable material would therefore count as a physical process.
  2. the actions must ‘change the characteristics’ of the waste. Again, hand sorting to remove all cardboard or paper would change the characteristics.
  3. the actions must:
    1. reduce the quantity of the waste;
    2. reduce any ‘hazardous qualities’ of the waste;
    3. make handling the waste easier; or
    4. make ‘recovery’ of the waste easier.

Each waste transfer or consignment note that you sign when you pass waste on contains a statement that you have pre-treated the waste and it is therefore very important that you do so, or elect to have your waste carrier do it for you and charge you for it.

As noted above, for non-hazardous mixed waste, the easiest way to comply with the requirement is to separate out all recyclable materials from general waste. In some parts of the country, this is a legal requirement anyway and it is widely expected that by the end of 2016, all business producers will have to separate at least paper, glass and plastic from general waste wherever you are in the country.

For more hazardous wastes, there are a number of options you can take depending on the hazards associated with the wastes. Please contact us for a no obligation discussion about your specific needs.