Solid waste management
Auto dismantlers are doing a lot to reduce waste going to landfill.
Reuse is their business! But in the process of dismantling and storing parts for resale, dismantlers often have a bad effect on the environment, mainly because they have untidy yards and do not appropriately remove the liquids associated with the vehicle parts. Most of these problems can be easily fixed:
- Make sure all parts are being stored ready for sale do not pollute the ground or stormwater
- Make sure all parts containing liquids do not leak or spill
- Make sure all other waste products for recycling or disposal are adequately stored ready for pick-up waste contractors.
As well as impacting on the environment waste disposal can be expensive and businesses able to reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill enjoy considerable cost benefits.
The best way to manage waste is to minimise the quantities of waste generated in the first place. How?
- First, reduce your use of materials. Apart from anything else, this saves you money.
- Second, reuse materials. This saves you more money.
- Third, send materials off to be recycled. This preserves scarce resources.
- Last. only when you have tried the first three options should you dispose of material.
Look in your waste skip. A lot of these waste products could be reused or recycled instead of going to landfill. You can do even more to reduce your waste by adopting the following practices:
Separate and label wastes
- Separate your wastes. Mixing wastes may make them unsuitable for reuse or recycling.
- Clearly label waste containers and put them in convenient areas to encourage their use
- Reduce your waste disposal costs by buying products from suppliers that provide a collection, reuse or refill service for containers.
Recycle metal waste
- Almost all car parts can be broken down into aluminium, copper, iron, steel and other metals. Most metal recyclers will pay you for sorted metals.
- Drain any liquid from metal waste before placing the waste in bins provided by waste metal recyclers.
- Alternatively, store the waste in the work area and take it to the recyclers regularly. Storage containers must not leak.
Store and recycle batteries
- Some companies recycle car batteries. Contact your local council for advice on companies in your area.
- Batteries are classified as 'hazardous waste' (refer to Hazardous Materials) and should be collected and disposed of by a licensed contractor. While awaiting for collection, batteries must be placed in a spill tray under cover or in a bunded and covered area to avoid the lead acid they contain to be washed into the soil or stormwater drains.
- Tyres are a significant problem waste and can not be disposed of to landfill. You must not put old tyres with your other industrial waste for disposal.
- Some tyre cases may be suitable for retreading.
- Tyre resellers will take back old tyres but there is usually a charge for this service. If you add this to the cost of your new tyres, customers will be prepared to pay if they understand that the old tyres will be disposed of in an environmentally acceptable manner.
- Do not allow old tyres to stockpile - they are an extreme fire hazard.
- Store radiators awaiting disposal or exchange inside the workshop or under cover to reduce the risk of zinc or residual coolant washing into the soil and the stormwater system.
Recycle catalytic converters
- Catalytic converters should be stored as a separate item as they contain valuable precious metals that can be reclaimed. Specialist merchants will pay for reasonable quantities.
- Some companies pick up and recycle oil filters for a charge.
- Oil filters cannot be placed in normal solid waste. They must first be drained (preferably while still warm) and then crushed. This enables a much greater number to be stored before arranging for their collection by a metal merchant.
Recycle cardboard, paper, glass and plastics
- Talk to your local council or refer to the Yellow Pages for waste recycling companies. Note that old plastic oil containers are not accepted in recycling programs.
Disposing of waste
To keep costs down, consider waste disposal as a last resort.
Waste that you put in your waste bin will generally go to landfill. Place only dry, solid, inert wastes in industrial waste bins. Do not put liquid or industrial and hazardous waste in such binds. For instance, oily rags and used spill products must not be placed in your waste skip. They should be stored in a separate leakproof and preferably sealed container and disposed by a licensed waste contractor.
Solid wastes such as sweepings, filters, spent abrasive material, containers and rags contaminated with chemcials such as oil and paint, are generally classified as hazardous waste. They must be transported to a facility that is licensed to receive and/or treat that type of waste. See Hazardous Materials or contact DECC Environment Line on phone: 131 555.
While the use of asbestos-based products in motor vehicles has been banned since January 2003 there are still a lot of vehicles on the roads that will contain asbestos products. These products will be found in the form of disc pads, brake linings, clutch facings, cyclinder head gaskets, manifold gaskets and exhaust flange gaskets. Where there is any doubt as to whether a component contains asbestos or not it should be treated as if it does. When removed they must be placed in a sealed plastic bag contained within another plastic bag. These should be stored within a metal container with a secure lid. Asbestos waste must be collected and disposed of by a licensed contractor.
What the law says
Under section 142A of the POEO Act penalties apply for unlawful transporting and disposal of waste. Both the person who dumps the waste and the person who owned the waste may be liable - so it's important that you make sure that your waste is managed, transported and disposed of appropriately.
Other legal considerations include:
- Do not bury wastes or pour liquid onto the ground
- Solid wastes awaiting removal should be stored where they cannot blow away.
- Hazardous wastes have special storage, transport and disposal requirements and you may have to use a licensed waste transporter - refer to Hazardous Materials and Liquid Waste.
- Your local council
- DECC Environment Line, phone: 131 555
- Yellow Pages - look under 'Waste Reduction & Disposal Services'
Page last updated: 27 February 2011