Publications archive

Department of the Environment and Heritage annual report 2004-05

Volume two
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005
ISSN 1441 9335

Legislation annual reports 2004-05 (continued)

Operation of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989

In accordance with section 61 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989, this report covers the operation of the Act from 1 July 2004 until 30 June 2005.

Object of the Act

The object of the Act is to regulate the export and import of hazardous waste to ensure that exported or imported hazardous waste is disposed of safely so that human beings and the environment, both within and outside Australia, are protected from the harmful effects of the waste.

The Act was developed to enable Australia to comply with specific obligations under the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, by regulating the export and import of hazardous waste.

The Act was amended in 1996 to better align the scope of the Act with that of the Basel Convention, enabling Australia to meet all its obligations under the convention. The year under review, 2004 - 05, is the eighth full year in which the amended legislation has been in force.

Basel Convention

The Basel Convention was developed by the United Nations Environment Programme and adopted on 22 March 1989. It imposes two kinds of obligations on members:

Australia ratified the convention on 5 February 1992 and it entered into force on 5 May 1992. The seventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the convention was held on 25 - 29 October 2004.

Regulations

Regulations made under the Act provide for:

Permits

In 2004 - 05 the department assessed 13 applications for permits to import and export hazardous wastes. Twelve permits were granted (eight for exports and four for imports) and one application was refused. All permit applications were processed within the statutory timeframes. Details of permit applications received in 2004 - 05, including those not resolved by the end of the year, are presented in the tables below.

Fee income

During the year $15 114.53 was received in fee income. Fees are set to recover the costs of administration, in line with Australian Government policy.

Contraventions, enforcement and suspension of permits

Enforcement action during the year included the seizure of shipments of electronic waste, household waste, used lead acid batteries and lead dross. The department audited shipments of electronic waste, household waste, copper slag and zinc sulphate.

The department has continued working with industry to enhance controls on electronic scrap exports. In April 2005, the department finalised criteria to determine whether used electronic equipment is or is not hazardous waste.

The department worked to improve compliance with the Act, including strengthening intelligence links with industry and other government agencies.

Publications

Under section 33 of the Act, particulars of all applications, permits and variations were published in the Commonwealth of Australia government notices gazette.

Correction of errors in the 2003 - 04 annual report

There are two corrections to last year’s annual report. The information concerning the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on page 612 stated the date as 23 May 2004—this should be 23 May 2003. The direction from the tribunal is described as a stay order—this should be corrected to ‘deferral’ in two instances in the same paragraph.

Table 1: Export permits granted in 2004 - 05
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Tomago Aluminium Company Pty. Ltd 22 000 19.07.04 -
20.03.05
Spent pot linings residue contaminated with cyanides from New South Wales for accumulation of material intended for another disposal operation, followed by recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials at Selca S.p.A., 22 Via Milano, Pisogne (Bs) 25055, Italy. Via the Suez Canal.
Exide Australia Pty Ltd 36 000 13.08.04 -
13.08.07
Waste comprising lead acid batteries, whole or crushed, for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Exide New Zealand, Wainone Street, Petone, New Zealand.
Mount Isa Mines Ltd 6 400 26.11.04 -
30.03.05
Lead dross from Queensland for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Umicore, A. Greinerstraat 14, B-2660 Hoboken, Belgium. Via the Suez Canal and the ports of Singapore and London.
Queensland Energy Resources (Management) Pty Ltd 150 30.11.04 -
01.07.05
Spent nickel molybdenum catalyst from Queensland for recovery of components from catalysts at Aura Metallurgie GmbH, Am Ernst-Schacht 3, 06311 Helbra, Germany. Via Singapore, Jeddah, Suez, La Spezia and Antwerp.
Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd 414 08.12.04 -
31.08.05
Waste electrical and electronic scrap from New South Wales for accumulation of material intended for another disposal operation, followed by recycling/reclamation of metal compounds, and recycling/reclamation of other inorganic compounds at Fuji Xerox Eco-manufacturing Co. Ltd, 175 Sathom City Tower 16/1 Floor, South Sathom Road, Tungmahamek, Sathom, Bangkok 10120, Thailand. Via Singapore.
Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd 990 08.12.04 -
31.07.05
Used toner cartridges from New South Wales for accumulation of material intended for another disposal operation, followed by recycling/reclamation of metal compounds, recycling/reclamation of other inorganic compounds, and use as a fuel (other than by direct incineration) or by other means to generate energy at Fuji Xerox Eco-manufacturing Co. Ltd, Export Processing Zone Bo-win, Chonburi Industrial Estate, Thailand. Via Singapore.
Nuplex Special Waste Pty Ltd 480 23.12.04 -
19.10.05
Mixed resin waste being alkyd and polyester resins containing various solvents such as xylene, toluene and white spirit from Victoria for disposal by solvent reclamation/regeneration at United Environmental Ltd t/as Nuplex Environmental, 16-30 Neales Road, East Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand.
Northern Smelters Pty Ltd 40 07.12.04 -
31.10.05
Tin residue containing lead from Queensland for disposal by recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Metallo Chimique Int NV, Nieuwe Dreef 33, B-2349, Beerse, Belgium. Via Singapore, Port Klang, Suez, Damietta, Le Havre, Southampton and Rotterdam.

Table 2: Import permits granted in 2004 - 05
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
OMG Cawse Pty Ltd 1 000 21.09.04 - 21.09.05 Nickel filter cake intermediate waste from OMG Harjavalta Nickel Oy, Harjavalta, Finland for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at OMG Cawse Pty Ltd, Locked Bag 32, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia 6433.
HydroMet Corporation Ltd 200 25.10.04 - 31.08.05 Selenium and precious metals from Norway for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at MinMet Operations Pty Ltd, 25 School Drive, Tomago, New South Wales, 2322.
Beaufort Shipping Agency Company 39.7 and 10 900 litres 26.10.04 - 30.09.05 Household wastes from the French Dumont D’Urville Station in Antarctica to Tasmania for deep burial at McRobies Gully landfill, Hobart, for recycling of glass, cans and waste oils, and for incineration of high risk items at the Hobart Marine Board incinerator.
GHD Pty Ltd 8.7 17.11.04 - 17.11.05 Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls from Samoa for physico-chemical treatment not specified elsewhere in Annex IVA at BCD Technologies Pty Ltd, 2 Krypton Street, Narangba, Queensland 4504.

Table 3: Variations to export permits granted in 2004 - 05
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Variation
Exide Technologies 36 000 17.11.04 -
13.08.07
Vary permit granted on 13 August 2004 to Exide Australia Pty Ltd to require that furnace slag must be immobilised by adding calcium dihydrogen phosphate to convert heavy metal compounds to insoluble phosphate compounds, and then disposed of to landfill.
Mount Isa Mines Ltd 6 400 07.12.04 -
30.03.05
Vary permit granted on 26 November 2004 to specify transport by barge at Antwerp.

Table 4: Variations to import permits granted in 2004 - 05
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Sims Group Ltd 100 07.09.04 -
11.03.05
Vary special import permit granted to SimsMetal Ltd on 11 March 2004 to include undrained used lead acid batteries.

Table 5: Export applications received but not resolved by 30 June 2005
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Date received and status Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Qenos Pty Ltd 15 09.07.04 Processing Aluminium alkyls and non-halogenated solvents from Victoria for incineration on land and depositing the ash resulting from the incineration into specially engineered landfill at Indaver NV, Poldervlietweg, B-2030, Antwerp, Belgium. Via Singapore, Port Klang, Suez, Southampton and Rotterdam.
Mobil Refineries Australia
Pty Ltd
300 19.08.04. Processing Motor fuel antiknock mixture from South Australia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Associated Octel Co Ltd, Oil Sites Road, Ellesmere Port CH65 4HF, South Wirral, United Kingdom. Via Singapore, Port Klang, Suez, Rotterdam and Hamburg.
Umicore Australia Ltd 2 000 17.09.04 Processing Waste zinc ashes and residues from Victoria for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Umicore Oxyde Belgium n.v, Industriezone West Zolder -Lummen Zuid, B-3550 Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. Via Jakarta, Singapore, Jeddah, Suez and La Spezia.
Brambles Industries Ltd t/as Cleanaway 60 08.10.04 Processing Used nickel cadmium batteries from New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at SNAM Viviez, BP4 Avenue Jean Jaures, 12110 Viviez, France. Via Singapore, Jeddah, Suez, Marsaxlokk, La Spezia, Tilbury and Hamburg.
Basell Australia Pty Ltd 50 11.10.04 Processing Non-halogenated solvents from Victoria for disposal by repackaging prior to submission to another operation followed by incineration on land, and disposal to specially engineered landfill at AVR CHEMIE B.V. Prof. Gerbrandyweg 10, NL - 3197 KK, Rotterdam - Botlek, the Netherlands. Via Singapore, Jeddah, Suez, Marsaxlokk, La Spezia, Tilbury and Hamburg.
SAFT NIFE Power Systems Australia
sPty Ltd
240 04.11.04 Processing Used nickel cadmium batteries from New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at SAFT NIFE AB, S-57201 Oskarshamn, Sweden. Via Port Klang, Singapore, Suez, Southampton, Rotterdam and Hamburg.
MacDermid Australia 164 000 litres 13.12.04 Processing Copper ammonium chloride from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at ChemRecovery Ltd 15 Waokauri Place, Mangere, New Zealand.
Consolidated Alloys Pty Ltd 80 20.12.04 Processing Lead solder dross from Victoria for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Hydrometal S.A., Zoning Industriele d’Ehein, 8-4490 Englis, Belgium. Via Singapore, Jeddah, Suez and La Spezia.
Sims Group Ltd 6 000 20.12.04 Processing Waste cullet from cathode ray tubes from New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials at LimbergGlas BV, St. Janskamp 7, 6101 AG Echt, the Netherlands. Via Singapore, Jeddah, Suez, La Spezia and Antwerp.

Table 6: Applications refused in 2004 - 05
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Date refused Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Repco Ltd 2.405 29.09.04 Automotive gaskets containing asbestos from Repco Ltd for direct re-use by Repco New Zealand, 510 Mt Wellington Highway, Auckland, New Zealand.