Edit: Waste Management & Waste Classification Guidelines in Victoria, Australia.
According to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria (2020), waste codes and categories are essential for identifying and describing waste to facilitate waste management. Parties involved in controlling and managing waste must classify it to ensure compliance with the law. Classification of waste is essential as it allows for the protection of human health and the environment. EPA creates waste codes and categories depending on hazard levels. It also considers the potential of the waste being mismanaged.
Waste is classified into three types; industrial waste, priority waste, and reportable priority waste. Waste is classified into four categories; A, B, C, and Industrial Waste (IW). Characterisation of waste is done through sampling and analysis to determine the available contaminants. Waste categories are used by those who generate or treat waste to abide by the waste management options for each category. It is a requirement that the waste is categorised before being taken for disposal. During waste characterisation, hazard characteristics are assessed to place the waste to the correct category. The hazard characteristics for Category A is assessed first, and in case it does not fit, then the analysis proceeds to Category B. The procedure then moves up to the last category.
Hazard characteristics define the attributes used to classify waste. They include explosive wastes, flammable solid wastes, oxidising wastes, organic peroxide wastes, corrosive wastes, infectious wastes, waste which is liable to spontaneous combustion, among others. The hazard characteristics place waste into specific categories for appropriate management.
The waste classification guidelines allow for effective management of waste. It provides procedures observed in the generation, transportation, treatment and disposal of waste materials. The guidelines serve to minimise the impact of waste materials on the environment as well as protect human health. Individuals, groups and organisations are required to classify waste and comply with the stipulated standards.
A quick reference source for Australian Standards and Guidelines is available on the ESdat.net website.
EPA Victoria (2019). IWRG631: Solid industrial waste hazard categorisation and management. Retrieved from https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/iwrg631
EPA Victoria (2019). IWRG621: Soil hazard categorisation and management. Retrieved from https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/iwrg621
EPA Victoria (2020). Waste classification. Retrieved from https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/for-business/new-laws-and-your-business/manage-waste/waste-classification
EPA Victoria (2020). Prescribed industrial waste classifications. Retrieved from https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/for-business/find-a-topic/manage-industrial-waste/prescribed-industrial-waste-classifications