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Publications archive - Hazardous waste

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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Hazardous Waste Technical Group — 64th meeting

Thursday 12 February 2004
8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Banksia Room, Fourth Floor, John Gorton Building
King Edward Terrace, PARKES ACT 2600

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Minutes

Present:

Chair

Professor Paul Greenfield

Members

Mr John Hogan
Dr Peter Di Marco
Mr Stephen Moore
Dr Robyn Eckersley
Dr Geoff Syme
Ms Diane Kovacs
Dr Neill Stacey
Dr Jenny Stauber
Dr Peter Scaife

Observers

Dr Peter Brotherton
Ms Rebecca Zammit

Secretariat

Ms Panna Patel
Dr Geoff Thompson Ms Marnie Rowe

Apologies

Dr Peter Nadebaum

Agenda Item 1. Draft Minutes of the 63rd meeting

1. The meeting amended paragraphs 6,18 and 36 of the draft Minutes of the 63rd meeting, and adopted the Minutes as amended.

Agenda Item 2. Matters arising

2. Members noted the appointment of Dr Geoff Syme to the Technical Group and welcomed him to the meeting. Members also welcomed Ms Rebecca Zammit, who was attending the meeting as an observer for the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (SAEPA).

3. The agenda was amended to include new items 4(j) and (k).

Agenda Item 3. Progress report on operation of the Hazardous Waste Act

(a) Permit report for previous twelve months

4. The meeting noted the agenda paper.

Agenda Item 4. Technical issues arising from applications and inquiries

(a) Possible export of photocopier hulks to Thailand

5. The Group discussed the information that had been supplied by the applicant, referencing it to Information Paper No.6, Assessment of the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste destined for recovery operations in non-OECD countries.

6. On the basis of the eight questions in Information Paper No. 6, the Group came to the following conclusions.

  1. The physical and chemical states of the wastes were well documented in the application, and no further information was requested.
  2. Detailed information about the markets for the waste was needed for the cathode ray tubes and lens material, the plastic powder from the shaking table and the lime sludge.
  3. Detailed information about the environmental benefits and efficiencies was needed. The applicant had stated that export potentially offered a greater degree of separation and resource recovery than was currently available in Australia. The applicant should be asked to provide a detailed description of how the wastes (including metals and plastics) are currently managed in Australia and how they would be managed if an export permit was not granted. The applicant should also be asked whether the proposed approach would stimulate upstream product design and the use of less toxic/hazardous materials or chemicals.
  4. More information was needed about the recovery processes, paying particular attention to the procedures for dealing with any breakages or spillages, and especially to the clean-up process for components that contain mercury. The applicant should describe the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) implications of the increased disassembly and separation time and better material recycle ratio, that is, would workers be exposed to hazardous components for longer periods of time and would this require additional OH&S measures? The applicant should also provide an overall mass flow of the hazardous waste streams. For every tonne of photocopier hulks, what is the weight of each part removed for further processing? Similar information should be provided for the waste streams generated. For example, data should be provided to show the quantities and composition of the separated glass and sludge from the Braun tubes, including a description of how the waste water is cleaned after the cleaning with hydrofluoric acid.
  5. No additional information was needed about the initial separation of materials, but more information was needed about some of the wastes generated from the various recovery processes. For example, the applicant should describe how the fly ash from the incinerator, including ash from the bag filter, is disposed of and the quantities involved.
  6. No information was provided on the environmentally sound transport of the wastes. The applicant should provide full details of how materials would be transported, including the way in which shipping containers will be packed. The applicant should pay particular attention to precautions taken to store and transport materials containing mercury.
  7. The applicant should provide details of the experience and history that each of the companies involved has had in relation to accidents and incidents involving these kinds of wastes. The applicant should also describe the action plans currently in place for emergencies or accidents.
  8. The applicant should provide copies of all relevant audit reports, including copies of any reports or audits used as part of due diligence processes. The applicant should also provide copies of any documentation that can confirm effective compliance with local regulations.

(b) Assessment of ESM on an application to export paragoethite for recovery operations to South Africa.

(c) Proposed export of spent potlinings: assessment of ESM

(d) Assessment of Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Waste Destined for Recovery Operations in non-OECD Countries, Information Paper No 6, 1999.

7. These papers were used as resource documents in the assessment of agenda item 4(a).

(e) Application to export lead solder dross to Belgium (oral)

(f) Application to export printed circuit boards containing lead to Singapore (oral)

(g) Concentration cut-off levels for tellurium (oral)

(h) Possible import of POPs wastes (oral)

(i) Possible export of ChemCollect wastes (oral)

8. There was no discussion of items (e) to (i)

(j) Inquiry on the hazardous waste status of demineralised used oil

9. The Group discussed the information provided and noted that the plant in question is licensed to operate a waste and recycling depot under the South Australian Environment Protection Act 1993. The SAEPA considered the processed lube base oil to be a waste because there was too little information provided to suggest that it was fit for any other purpose. The company had lodged an application with SAEPA but further information had been requested.

10. The Group noted that the company could not process the lube base oil for export until the process was approved by SAEPA, and agreed that too little information had been provided to support the argument that it was not a waste.

11. The Group concluded that the company should continue with their application for approval from the SAEPA. In the event that such an approval is granted, the company would be welcome to write to the Department again, including all of the information provided to SAEPA.

12. The Group remained of the view that the company's processed lube base oil is a waste mineral oil unfit for its originally intended use. This is defined as a hazardous waste in Annex I to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal.

(k) Draft evidentiary certificate for aluminium salt slag

13. The Group concluded that salt slag, or saltcake, is produced in the recovery of aluminium from aluminium dross. This falls within the scope of disposal operation R4, Recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds, in Annex IV to the Basel Convention. The Convention defines "disposal" as any operation specified in Annex IV.

14. Therefore, salt slag belongs to category Y18 in Annex I to the Convention, Residues arising from industrial waste disposal operations. It exhibits hazardous characteristic H4.3 because in contact with water it emits flammable gases such as acetylene. It also exhibits hazardous characteristic H10 because in contact with water it is liable to give off toxic gases, such as ammonia, in dangerous quantities. Export and import is controlled under the Basel Convention.

15. The Group reviewed the draft certificate and recommended a number of changes, to be considered at the next meeting.

Agenda Item 5. Reports of international meetings

(a) Basel Convention: Second Session of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG2), Geneva, 20-24 October 2003

Agenda Item 6. Work Program of the Technical Group

Agenda Item 7. Criteria for separating hazardous from non-hazardous wastes

Agenda Item 8. Criteria for separating wastes from non-wastes

Agenda Item 9. Defining environmentally sound management

Agenda Item 10. Regional Centres

Agenda Item 11. Avoidance, minimisation and treatment of hazardous wastes

Agenda Item 12. Other business

16. There was no discussion of items 5 to 12.

Agenda Item 13. Dates of next meetings

17. Dates of the next meetings

(a) Friday 19 March 2004
(b) Friday 16 April 2004
(c) Friday 21 May 2004