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ABRI Member Bulletin ~ 21 December

ABRI delivering streamlined regulation and reporting for members

  1. Victoria EPA – New Guidelines for Storage and Management of Waste Batteries
  2. Victoria EPA – Announcement of new proposed approach to regulation of lead acid batteries
  3. National Hazardous Waste Data Tracking System – ABRI advocating for streamlined reporting outcomes and providing expert input into system development
  4. NSW Fire and Rescue – draft mixed battery fire testing plan
  5. BSC consultation with ABRI Members – Session 5

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. I was hoping not to do another member bulletin so late in the year when everyone’s trying to wrap up. However, the announcements kept coming … many of which reflect good outcomes from ABRI advocacy and government engagement over 2021.

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1. VICTORIA EPA - NEW GUIDELINES FOR STORAGE AND MANAGEMENT OF WASTE BATTERIES

The Victorian EPA released (20 December) new Guidelines for Storage and Mangement of Waste Batteries. The guide applies to waste and resource recovery facilities such as e-waste transfer stations, materials recycling facilities and reprocessing facilities that receive, store or transport waste batteries.

It is designed to help people in management or control of waste batteries, and details information on batteries and their risks, regulatory requirements in Victoria, and managing the collection and storage of different types of waste batteries.

While it is specific to the Victorian regulatory rules, it provides a useful structure for thinking about requirements and practices in each Australian jurisdiction. Topics covered include worksafe requirements, risk management, storage controls and containers, fire controls, different battery chemistries and transporting waste batteries.

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2. VICTORIA EPA - UPDATE ON PROPOSED APPROACH TO REGULATION OF LEAD ACID BATTERIES

This article is a reproduction of a communication from the Vic EPA to ABRI

It is estimated that 96,000 – 115,000 used lead acid batteries (ULAB) are generated in Victoria each month. Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 these are prescribed as Reportable Priority Waste.

ULAB are generated in small volumes by thousands of organisations such as small automotive mechanics and part retailers. As such, prescribing ULAB as Reportable Priority Waste isn’t proportionate to the risk in small volumes.

As part of Recycling Victoria’s Reducing Regulatory Barriers program to create better, more fit for purpose regulations for all Victorians, a new regulatory framework is being developed.

General Designation for ULAB

EPA is developing a General Designation to create a new more fit-for-purpose regulatory framework for ULAB. EPA’s preferred option is for ULAB above 1 tonne to be prescribed as Reportable Priority Waste. ULAB below 1 tonne would be prescribed as Industrial Waste.

What you need to know

Below 1 tonne

You must:

  • Classify your waste to understand correct storage, handling, treatment, movement and disposal
  • Maintain an A13c registration for storage of ULAB
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure ULAB is transported and received at a place or premises that is authorised to receive it
  • Provide information regarding the waste to the next person in the supply chain so they can meet their duties.

Above 1 tonne

You must:

  • Maintain an A01 licence or exemption for storage, treatment processing, containing or disposing
  • Use Waste Tracker to report each time the waste is exchanged
  • Only use permitted vehicles for transport.

In each case, ULAB will still be classified as D220 (lead and lead compounds) and is banned from landfill.

The General Environmental Duty

The General Environmental Duty applies at all times. All Victorians must manage their activities to reduce the risk of harm to human health and the environment from pollution or waste.

You must also respond if pollution does occur.

Next steps

EPA will continue work on the General Designation for ULAB in the new year.

Policy work and legal drafting will continue in early 2022.

Share your feedback

The slides from the consultation session with ABRI members on 17 December are available for your feedback.

If you have any feedback on the preferred option, please email mark.bannister@epa.vic.gov.au by Monday 31 January 2022.

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3. NATIONAL HAZARDOUS WASTE DATA TRACKING SYSTEM - ABRI ADVOCATING FOR STREAMLINED REPORTING OUTCOMES AND PROVIDING EXPERT INPUT INTO SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

The NSW EPA has provided a pre-holiday update on their work to develop and deploy the national hazardous waste tracking system. This  follows closure (early December) of an EOI to support system development and will ocntinue to do so in 2022. ABRI is also working closely with the Queensland Department of Environment and Science who is collaborating on this project.

In 2022, the NSW EPA is planning to set up a framework that will oversee the development process and further details will be provided in the new year. ABRI has been working closely with the NSW Government on this project over the past year.The NSW EPA is responsible for the development of a nationally consistent hazardous waste tracking and data system under the Commonwealth Government’s National Waste Policy Action Plan and the NSW Government’s NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041. A key part of this project is to design and develop a new tracking and data solution to replace the existing Online Waste Tracking and WasteLocate systems.

The NSW EPA’s goal is to create a solution that benefits compliant industry users, encourages adoption by non-users, and improves the identification of non-compliant operations or practices.Specifically, they want to:

  • Reduce the cost of compliance for legitimate operators by designing solutions that solve existing problems and avoid additional costs
  • Avoid duplication of your existing systems by finding ways to integrate the information from these with our system
  • Develop workflows and user interfaces that are intuitive and that make it easy for people to do their jobs
  • Extend our tracking and monitoring of smaller operators by creating solutions that are beneficial for them to adopt

To achieve these goals, the NSW EPA plans to establish a framework with industry representatives to define and oversee a co-design and co-development process for the proposed hazardous waste tracking and data system. Ideally, we want a streamlined framework that enables the system development process to move at pace while meeting the needs of all industry users.

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4. NSW FIRE AND RESCUE - DRAFT MIXED BATTERY FIRE TESTING PLAN

NSW Fire and Rescue is proposing to provide their draft mixed battery fire testing plan to ABRI for comment on Wednesday 22 December. This is part of a broader work program which seeks to better understand and manage incidents involving lithium-ion batteries, reducing their linkage to fires.

The ABRI Secretariat will circulate for comment to members who’ve been participating in the working group. Any other interested members should contact Katharine Hole, ABRI CEO, on 0488 216 750 or email secretariat@batteryrecycling.org.au to discuss.

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5. BSC CONSULTATION WITH ABRI MEMBERS SESSION 5

BSC consultation with ABRI members (Session 5) focused on:

  • Transitional arrangements for accreditation for companies that applied before 17 December
  • B-cycle app rollout process and information sessions
  • Communications

The next session will be 2-3pm on Wednesday 2 February 2022. Sessions are scheduled on a monthly basis in 2022. If useful for ABRI members, ad hoc consultation sessions will be arranged on specific topics as required.

ABRI
Email   secretariat@batteryrecyling.org.au
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