End of waste framework
The end of waste (EOW) framework under Chapters 8 and 8A of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 promotes resource recovery opportunities and aims to transform the perception of waste from being seen as waste to being valued as a resource.
The EOW framework consists of:
- EOW codes – specifies outcomes that a registered resource producer needs to achieve in order for a waste to be deemed a resource
- EOW approvals – used when there is a potential market/demand for a resource, but an EOW code has not yet been developed.
A waste can be approved as a resource if the Department of Environment and Science considers that it meets specified quality criteria for its specific use. If a waste is approved as a resource under the EOW framework, it is no longer considered a waste under section 13 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994. However, if the resource is not used in accordance with the EOW code or approval, it is deemed to be a waste.
Benefits of operating under an EOW code may include:
- less regulation for the reuse of waste (e.g. approvals relating to regulated waste are not required)
- volumes of waste disposed to landfill are reduced, reducing the cost associated with disposal
- costs from using raw materials may be reduced
- reuse of the waste may have a monetary value.
Beneficial use approval framework
The EOW framework replaced the beneficial use approval (BUA) framework on 8 November 2016.
Under the transitional provisions in the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011, resources approved under specific BUAs issued prior to this date can continue to be used as a resource for the uses specified under those approvals until the end of the approval period for the BUA (the period specified in the relevant notice).