Huon Valley Council, Tasmania
Huon Valley Council, Tasmania

Waste Management FAQ

Waste Management

Important information concerning the interpretations of legislation and other policies contained in this page. It is recommended that the Disclaimer be read in conjunction with the information provided.

Welcome to the Waste Management section of the Huon Valley Council website. We have endeavoured to include all information relating to the queries you might have on waste management here. We hope this section will be helpful. If there's anything else with which we can be of assistance please email us on hvc@huonvalley.tas.gov.au or ph: 6264 0300

For more information on recycling in the Huon Valley, click here.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What is waste management?

2. What legislation governs waste management?

3. Where are my local waste disposal sites and when are they open?

4. What are the charges at the waste disposal sites?

5. What items can I recycle and where do I take them?

6. What is regarded as acceptable and non-acceptable waste?

7. What can I do with non-acceptable waste?

8. What can I do with empty chemical containers?

9. How should I store chemicals?

10. How can I reduce the amount of waste I produce?

11. What can I do with liquid (trade) waste?

12. How can I reduce my food waste and save money?


1.  What is waste management? [Top of Page]

Waste management is an area of core business for councils. It encompasses all activities and services that revolve around collecting, disposing and reducing waste. In dealing with waste management, council uses the most effective technologies and methods available while also striving to protect environmental and public health.

All Tasmanian councils run some form of garbage collection and recycling services and operate waste transfer stations and/or landfill sites.

Huon Valley Council operates a kerbside collection service for general household refuse including recyclable materials.

Please note that landfill sites in the Huon Valley are no longer in service and all rubbish generated and taken to waste transfer stations is hauled out of the Huon Valley for recycling or disposal.

Council currently operates waste transfer stations at Southbridge (Huonville), Cygnet, Geeveston and Dover. Rubbish and recycling must be placed in the skip bins and receptacles provided at the waste transfer stations. Please follow the directional signage at waste transfer stations carefully.

Dumping of rubbish of any kind onto waste transfer station land is no longer permitted and penalties apply for any person/s found doing so . Similarly, any person found unlawfully trespassing or dumping rubbish at Council waste transfer stations out of operating hours is liable for prosecution.

In southern Tasmania, waste management activities are promoted by the Southern Waste Strategy Authority. This authority involves twelve southern Tasmanian Councils and works to implement a Waste Management Strategy for Southern Tasmania. Huon Valley is an active member of this Authority.

The Authority runs a number of programs and educational activities focused on:

  waste reduction
  re-use of discarded materials
  waste recycling or reprocessing to recover resources
  responsible waste disposal.

Details of the Authority's Business Plan and Waste Management Programs are available.

 

2.  What legislation governs waste management? [Top of Page]

Huon Valley Council activities in relation to waste management are generally controlled by three main pieces of legislation:

The Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) deals with pollution issues and under Section 20(a) requires councils to prevent or control pollution. Under Section 44 it allows councils to issue Environmental Protection Notices (EPN) and to ensure new businesses or activities do not cause environmental harm.

Environmental harm is defined as 'any adverse effect on the environment.'EMPCA defines three levels of environmental harm:

  environmental nuisance which carries a penalty up to $30,000
  material environmental harm which carries a penalty up to $250,000 and 2 years prison
  serious environmental harm which carries a penalty up to $1,000,000 and 4 years prison.

EMPCA also governs most of the State Government's activities in relation to waste management. The Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) looks after waste and recycling and their web site has some very good information.

The Local Government Act 1993 is the main piece of legislation that controls how councils operate and what functions and roles they must perform. Section 20 details the functions and powers of councils. Section 93(1)(d) allows councils to set a service rate for garbage removal, while Sections 145 to 174 allow councils to make by-laws and set out the procedures for doing so. Section 199 to 204 allow councils to take action against a person that may be causing a 'nuisance.'

'Nuisance' is defined as anything that is likely to cause danger or harm to the health, safety or welfare of anyone, or unreasonable or excessive levels of noise or pollution.

Council enacted a by-law relating to waste management in January 2003 which was subsequently updated in 2012.. The by-law, known as 'the Waste Management By-Law, Number 1 of 2012, details:

  • requirements for the proper disposal of refuse at the landfill sites and waste transfer stations
  • penalties for non compliance including a fine of 10 penalty units for disposing any hazardous or controlled waste at these facilities (one penalty unit equals $100).

Part 3 of the by-law covers kerbside refuse collection, in the event that such a service is introduced.

The Litter Act 2007 authorises council officers to take action against persons found to be littering and describes actions that can be taken and penalties that may apply.

More detailed but easy to read information about environmental laws in general can be found in 'The Environmental Law Handbook - Your Practical Guide to Tasmania's Environmental Protection and Planning Laws' 2nd edition, produced by the Environmental Defenders Office (Tas) Inc. (EDO). It is available from most major bookstores and Service Tasmania centres or contact the EDO directly on Ph: 6223 2770, email: edotas@trump.net.au.

 

3.  Where are my local waste disposal sites and when are they open? [Top of Page]

Southbridge (Huonville), 2899 Huon Highway

Monday 10am-2pm

Tuesday 10am-4pm

Wednesday 10am-2pm

Thursday 10am-4pm

Friday 10am-4pm

Saturday 10am-4pm

Sunday 10am-4pm

The Southbridge Re-Use Shop is open 10am-4pm, closed Monday and Wednesday.

Cygnet, 83 Tobys Hill Road

Wednesday 12pm-4pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm

Geeveston, 70 Hermons Road

Wednesday 12pm-4pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm

Dover, 48-62 Cemetery Road

Tuesday 12pm-4pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm

Maps and public holiday opening hours are listed for each waste transfer station here: Waste Transfer Stations

Council landfill sites must meet the requirements of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 and associated regulations as well as the Public Health Act 1997. They also provide convenient disposal facilities to households, businesses and industry.

Issues associated with managing landfill sites include the management of hazardous waste and preventing any impact off-site, including the discharge of waste-water or odour, vermin and visual impacts. There is also the issue of rehabilitating sites after they are no longer used for landfill. DPIPWE has published a number of guidelines on how landfill sites and waste transfer stations should be operated.

 

4.  What are the charges at the waste transfer stations? [Top of Page]

Please click on the below link to view Refuse Site Fees and charges.

 Waste Management Fees 2014-2015(119 kb)

5.  What items can I recycle and where do I bring them? [Top of Page]

Huon Valley Council recycles a range of materials at its four waste transfer stations. Waste transfer station locations can be found under question 3.

Items that can be recycled at these centres are:

Milk and Juice cartons (wash and flatten, stack inside each other to make a brick)
Glass bottles and jars (wash and remove all caps and lids)
Paper and Cardboard
Aluminium and Steel cans (includes food and drink cans, pie trays, clean foil and aerosol cans. Rinse food cans)
PET, HDPE and PVC plastic (generally juice, milk and cream plastic bottles identified by the recycle code 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 7 usually on the base of the bottle. Rinse, squash and remove all lids).

Items that cannot be accepted for recycling include:

Plastic bags
Window glass
Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
House cleaning product bottles
Ice-cream, yogurt, butter and margarine containers
Crockery
Meat Trays

Other items are at the discretion of the tip operator.

If you have any queries regarding recycling please contact Huon Valley Council.

A number of recycling businesses also operate in the area, though none are based in the Huon Valley. Information about these businesses, including contact details, can be found in the Tasmanian Waste Recovery and Recycling directory on the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) website.

This directory lists all the recycling businesses in the State by the type of material they collect. Information about drop off points for recyclable materials in each council area is also included. The directory can be accessed via the DPIPWE website, where it can be browsed or else a PDF version can be downloaded.

 

6.  What is regarded as acceptable and non-acceptable waste? [Top of Page]

Generally, acceptable waste includes:

normal domestic and commercial waste
recyclable materials (separated and left at collection points at the waste transfer station or landfill site for recycling)
uncontaminated green waste (never mixed with any general domestic waste, timber or steel - NOTE: not available at Dover WTS - Dover residents must take green waste to Geeveston)
tyres (a levy is paid on each disposed tyre)
refrigerators and other white goods
gas bottles
paint tins
batteries

What is considered acceptable waste can vary depending on the licensing conditions for the particular landfill site.

If you have a query regarding what can be accepted at any of councils waste transfer stations or landfill sites, contact the Waste Management Co-ordinator on 6264 0300 or email: hvc@huonvalley.tas.gov.au

Non-acceptable waste includes:

Controlled Waste - defined as any waste with a hazardous characteristic that has special controls on the method of disposal and may endanger public health or the environment. Typically, such waste may be derived from plant and animal processing or industrial and chemical waste, especially if such waste has the potential to be toxic, corrosive or explosive.
Asbestos - visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au for information on asbestos management
Household or farm chemicals
Liquid waste including septic sludge
Chemical containers
Dead animals and biological refuse
Builder's rubble and clean fill - not accepted in the Huon Valley until further notice - builders must make arrangements to haul out of the Huon Valley to McRobies Gully or Glenorchy landfills (see below for contact details).

 

7.  What can I do with non-acceptable waste?

[Top of Page]

It is unlawful to dispose of asbestos anywhere in the Huon Valley. Asbestos may currently be disposed of at either:

McRobies Gully Waste Transfer Station in South Hobart WTS toll booth phone (03) 6223 3846; or

Glenorchy Waste Transfer Station WTS toll booth phone (03) 6216 6712.

Please note that toll booth operators must be notified before disposal of asbestos at either of the above waste transfer stations and that asbestos disposal requires special handling procedures. Information about asbestos handling for disposal can be gained at the above waste transfer station toll booth numbers.

There are two main landfill sites licensed to take controlled or non-acceptable waste. These are Port Latta in the North West, and Dulverton in the North. A third site - the Hobart City Council site at McRobies Gully can take limited Controlled Waste such as some medical waste and quarantine waste.

It is always wise to contact the waste management officers at the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment to ask their advice before you dispose of any controlled waste or if you are unsure if your waste is considered 'Controlled Waste 'or not.

A number of waste removal businesses licensed to remove such waste operate around the State. Contact details for these businesses are listed in the Yellow Pages under Waste Reduction and Disposal Services.

In the Huon Valley area the following waste disposal services operate:

Collex Pty Ltd.

J.W. Phillips, Cairns Bay.

 

8.  What can I do with empty chemical containers? [Top of Page]

drumMUSTER is the national program for the collection and recycling of empty, cleaned, non-returnable, crop production and on-farm animal health chemical containers. Many councils act as the collection agency for these containers and organise an annual or bi-annual collection of empty and rinsed chemical containers.

The containers must be:

  • pressure rinsed
  • triple rinsed, or
  • fully cleaned with a mechanical rinsing device.

This should be done immediately after emptying the container, before any residue has a chance to dry and harden.

Further information is available on the safe disposal of chemicals.

Huon Valley Council participates in the drumMUSTER collection program. drumMuster collection occurs only at Southbridge WTS on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Up to 30 containers at a time accepted only and the WTS operator must be notified before delivery on (03) 6264 0300.

 

9.  How should I store chemicals? [Top of Page]
Only buy enough for immediate use to reduce the need to store quantities of chemicals. When they must be stored, always label with the date of storage and note the useby date.
Keep chemicals in a secure storage area out of reach of children and animals.
Store away from heat and moisture and place on trays or mats that can collect any spills or leaks.
Make sure the container is maintained in good condition.
Do not mix chemicals together.

When using chemicals read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and avoid direct contact with skin - wear gloves and protective clothing.

 

10.  How can I reduce the amount of waste I produce? [Top of Page]

Waste can be reduced by:

  • buying items with less packaging
  • using available recycling services
  • composting garden and food waste at home
  • using council green waste collection services, where available.

It is estimated that garden and food waste accounts for over 50% of household waste. Mulching and composting can make a significant difference in reducing such waste.

Using mulch and compost in the garden have the added benefits of boosting soil fertility and conserving soil moisture.

Green Waste

Green waste means grass clippings, leaves and tree prunings. Green waste is collected at Geeveston, Southbridge and Cygnet waste transfer stations (NOTE: no collection at Dover). When disposing of green waste at waste transfer stations, it is important to ensure that it is uncontaminated with general garbage, builder's timber, rubble or steel, or any other refuse.

Home Composting

Home composting is a good way to significantly reduce your household waste. When composted, food waste and garden clippings decompose to make a great mulch for your garden.

You can either make your own compost heap in a shady part of your garden or use a compost bin. Compost bins can be purchased at most hardware stores and some councils provide them to their ratepayers at a discount.

Items that can be added to compost include:

  • vegetable & fruit peelings
  • tea bags & coffee grinds
  • vacuum dust
  • small prunings, leaves & grass clippings
  • straw & sawdust
  • flowers
  • wood ash
  • shredded paper & cardboard
  • used potting mix

The compost should be added in layers, with a layer of food scraps ideally being covered with a layer of grass clippings or leaves.

The following items are not suitable for composting:

  • meat and bones
  • dairy products
  • large prunings
  • pet droppings
  • weeds with seeds
  • bleached paper or magazines.

The compost needs moisture and air to decompose effectively. To achieve this, turn it regularly and make sure it is always kept reasonably moist, without being waterlogged.

Worm Farms

Worm farms are another way to reduce food and garden waste. Worm castings that result from the worm's decomposition of waste, also make an excellent soil conditioner for your garden.

As with compost heaps, a worm farm should be placed in a cool and shady part of the garden. The worms need:

a dark, moist, but not waterlogged environment at all times

any compostable food items, shredded into smaller pieces to allow the worms to efficiently decompose them

neutral acidity with a pH level kept around 7.

This pH level can usually be achieved quite easily by ensuring a layer of green waste or moist paper or cardboard is regularly added with the food waste. Ensure that paper waste is not bleached or contaminated with any chemicals. Newspapers and cardboard from food packaging are ideal.

Most hardware stores and garden centres sell worm farms and worms and will give you advice about how to look after them.

 

11.  What can I do with liquid (trade) wastes? [Top of Page]

If you are not in a reticulated sewerage area, most household waste is disposed of via the sewerage or waste water systems, or via septic tanks. However, grease, oils, solvents and chemicals (basically anything except human sewage) should not be put directly into such systems.

If you operate a business that produces quantities of such materials and they are discharged directly into the sewer, they can:

  • block the sewer
  • cause corrosion of pipes
  • damage the sewerage treatment processes
  • cause health risks to the sewer workers
  • cause damage to the environment.

Such waste is often called trade waste and depending on the type of waste in question, councils require such waste to be managed through grease traps, holding tanks or oil and silt traps. Often councils require an industry operator to enter into a Trade Waste Agreement or obtain a Permit that details what the business is allowed to discharge to the sewer and under what terms and conditions. Also, trade waste charges that councils often impose on businesses depend on the volume and type of waste being discharged.

Huon Valley Council does not have a trade waste policy but requires a person discharging liquid trade waste to obtain a Special Connection Permit. Please contact the Waste Management Co-ordinator on 6264 0300 or email: hvc@huonvalley.tas.gov.au for any further information regarding council requirements in relation to discharging trade waste to the sewer.

Council obligations in dealing with liquid waste are generally specified under The Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

EMPCA requires a council to ensure it disposes of liquid waste in a way that does not cause environmental harm.

If a council operates a treatment plant with a volume:

exceeding 100 kilolitres per day, it is considered a Level 2 activity under EMPCA and is regulated by DPIPWE.
under 100 kilolitres, it is considered a Level 1 activity and does not require a permit from DPIPWE, but must still comply with the EMPCA. {Govt Act}

Normal domestic waste is disposed of via a council's sewerage system or via septic tanks in unsewered areas. In recent years biocycle systems or little mini sewerage treatment plants have been approved for areas unsuitable for the conventional septic tank.

Council responsibilities for liquid waste disposal are detailed in the Urban Drainage Act 2013 and the Plumbing Regulations 2014

The Urban Drainage Act 2013 describes the type of matter that can be discharged into a sewer system while the Plumbing Regulations 2014 control more detailed activities councils can undertake to manage and maintain the sewerage system, including the use of trade waste permits.

The Plumbing Regulations 2014 lists substances that cannot be discharged into the sewer and include any materials that might cause harm to the sewerage treatment plant or to the waters receiving the waste. The following specific substances are listed:

flammable materials
radioactive material
medical, veterinary or pathology waste that could cause a health risk
rainwater, groundwater or uncontaminated yard drainage unless the sewer system is designed for it
the contents of any sewage or septic tank pump out unit unless located at designated receiving stations.

Schedule 8 of the Plumbing Regulations 2014 sets the standards for liquid trade wastes that can be discharged to sewers.

Breach of these regulations incurs:

  • a fine of 10 penalty points (one penalty point equals $100)
  • a daily fine of 1 penalty point while the breach continues.

These standards and penalties vary under sub regulation (2) of the Plumbing Regulations 2014.

Many councils have a specific by-law that governs the disposal of sewerage, trade waste and stormwater or trade waste.

Breach of these by-laws often carries

  • a fine of 20 penalty points
  • a further fine of 2 penalty points per day.

 

12. How can I reduce my food waste and save money?

[Top of Page]

We have all been guilty of wasting food but there are some simple ways we can 'scrape the plate back a bit'.

The FoodWise http://www.foodwise.com.au/ website has fantastic recipe ideas, cheat sheets, videos and so much more to help you on your way.

For example, did you know it is best to store raw meats, fish and poultry on bottom shelf (usually the coolest place in the fridge)? Just one tip from the tool kits on how to store food in your fridge to increase longevity.
 

Other ideas to reduce your food waste include:

  • Only cook what you need.
  • Try the inventive way to use leftovers on foodwise.com.au
  • Avoid buying takeaways at the last minute instead of cooking the food you have at home.
  • Check the cupboard and fridge before going shopping and use the foodwise recipe finders to find recipes that use what you already have

Why is food waste so unpalatable?

Each year Australians send 4 million tonnes of food to landfill. That’s enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks. Placed end to end, this convoy would cross the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand just over three times!

The cost to you and me
Australians waste $8 billion worth of fresh food, leftovers, packaged and long-life products, drinks, frozen food and takeaways a year. For the average Australian household that equates to:

  • 20% of the food they purchase, or 1 out of every 5 bags of groceries 
  • around $1000 worth of food - that’s enough to feed the average household for over a month.
  • up to 40% of the average household bin being wasted food.

The cost to our planet

  • When food rots without air in landfill, it gives off a greenhouse gas called methane, which is 25 times more carbon dioxide that comes out of your car exhaust.
  • When you throw out food you also waste the water, fuel and resources it took to get the food from the paddock to your plate.

In 2014 we can all help to make these stats more 'palatable'.

All figures come from the foodwise website

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