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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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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 — 74th meeting

Friday 3 June 2005
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

Dr Peter Di Marco
Mr John Hogan
Mr Stephen Moore
Dr Peter Nadebaum
Dr Peter Scaife
Dr Neill Stacey

Observer

Dr Bro Sheffield-Brotherton

Secretariat

Dr Greg Rippon
Ms Marnie Rowe

Apologies

Dr Robyn Eckersley
Ms Diane Kovacs
Dr Jenny Stauber
Dr Geoff Syme

Item 1. Minutes

(a) Draft minutes of the 73rd meeting

1. The meeting amended and then adopted the draft minutes.

Item 2. Matters arising

(a) Current list of members

2. The Group wanted to minute their appreciation of Geoff Thompson's considerable efforts and extend him sincere thanks for the last ten years.

3. The Group asked for the inclusion of contact details for the Hazardous Waste Section onto the current list of members.

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

(a) Permit report for previous twelve months

4. The Group amended the report removing "not specified elsewhere in Annex IVA" in various permit descriptions.

Item 4 Technical issues arising from applications and inquiries

(a) Update of Tomago Aluminium spent potlining processes

5. The meeting noted the progress report from Tomago.

(b) Inquiry on the correct classification of disposal operation under Basel for HCB waste

6. Messrs Bill Crowe and John Fetter from Orica Australia Pty Ltd gave a presentation to the Group about the HCB waste at Orica's Botany site. Orica wanted to inform the Group about the issues they were facing with this waste and the options they were pursing for its disposal.

7. They indicated that there was approximately 11,000 tonnes of HCB waste stockpiled at the Orica site, which included relatively concentrated technical grade HCB as well as approximately 4,000 tonnes low level contaminated waste such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and wood pallets. As such, the stockpile increases with discarded PPE waste added to it after any maintenance operation.

8. Orica is exploring two options in parallel to deal with the HCB waste. The first option, preferred option, is to find a suitable site in NSW for a purpose-built disposal facility that will utilise the GeoMelt process to dispose of the waste. The other option is to export the waste to Europe for processing and the recovery of chlorine from the more concentrated HCB waste.

9. The Group was asked by Orica whether the export proposal would be classed as a recovery operation or a final disposal operation. The Group considered that there was insufficient information to determine this and requested that Orica provide more information about the proposed European sites and processes.

(c) Export permit application by Fuji Xerox

10. The application was referred to the Technical Group for advice. The Technical Group noted the updated information on the assessment of environmentally sound management. They considered that if circumstances had remained unchanged since the granting of the previous export permit, then the current export proposal would still be consistent with their previous advice on the environmentally sound management of the hazardous waste.

(d) Submission on National options for Hazardous Waste disposal assisted by the Oil Stewardship program - supplementary information

11. The Group discussed the information provided by Teris about the volumes and types of waste being collected and blended for use as solvent based fuel in cement kilns. The Group concluded that the use of the waste identified by Teris was an appropriate way to dispose of the waste but that there were other disposal options for the wastes. Other options included appropriate waste streams being incinerated or, in some cases, subject to a suitable pre-treatment prior to secure landfilling.

(e) Monitor Testing Process

12. The Group discussed the export of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) for use in the remanufacturing of computer monitors - that is, the reassembly of CRTs into new plastic cases and with new control panels and circuit boards.

13. The Group reviewed the methodology proposed for testing the CRTs in Australia and concluded that it was sufficient to identify if the CRT was functioning, as per the e-waste criteria established by the DEH in April, 2005. However, The Group was concerned about the proposal that the CRTs be packed into the old plastic monitor cases for export, as the cases would likely contain brominated flame-retardants making them hazardous. As the old monitor cases would be destined for disposal (eg recycling or landfill), this would make them a hazardous waste and therefore alternate packaging would need to be used for the CRTs.

Item 5 International meetings

(a) Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention, Geneva, 4-8 July 2005

14. The Group noted the agenda paper.

15. The Group will discuss issues relating to the revised H11 paper at its next meeting. One member requested a report from the Secretariat about the Y17 paper.

Item 6. Criteria for separating hazardous from non-hazardous wastes

(a) Draft third edition of Information Paper No 5, Guidance on whether wastes containing metals or metal compounds are regulated under the Hazardous Waste Act

16. The Group asked the Secretariat to make some minor changes to the text and then finalise for publication.

Item 7. Criteria for separating wastes from non-wastes

(a) Draft fifth edition of Information Paper No.2, Distinguishing wastes from non-wastes under Australia's Hazardous Waste Act

17. The meeting agreed to review changes to this document and it will be discussed at the next meeting.

Item 8. Defining environmentally sound management

18. The meeting did not consider this item.

Item 10. Avoidance, minimisation and treatment of hazardous wastes

19. The meeting did not consider this item.

Item 11. Other business

20. There was discussion about the 10th anniversary of the Group. The Secretariat agreed to explore appropriate options for commemorating this milestone.

Item 12. Dates of next meetings

(a) Friday 5 August 2005

(b) Friday 7 October 2005 tentative

(c) Friday 2 December 2005 tentative