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Licensing of Waste Management Activities: You'll need a licence if you're involved in these waste activities

by , 30 January 2014
One of the common questions around waste management is: Must every company that deals with waste have a licence? Or is this only for companies that are waste management companies (i.e. where waste management is their core company function)? Read on to find out who should have a licence...

The short answer to the question above is 'no'.

Here's a further explanation…

The following waste activities must be licensed

The Health & Safety Advisor explains that government notice 718 (published on 3 July 2009) lists activities that must be licensed according to the National Environmental Management Waste Act (NEMWA).

Here are some good examples of when you'll need to licence your waste activities

Category 1: You'll need a licence if you do the following:

  • Store waste in excess of 100 m3 of general waste
  • Store hazardous waste in excess of 35 m3
  • Store tyres exceeding 500 m2

Note: A basic Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required as part of your application.

Category 2: If you do the following, you'll also need to do a full EIA as part of your application for a licence. This applies to companies that for example:

  • Store hazardous waste in lagoons
  • Reuse and recycle hazardous waste
  • Treat hazardous waste.

You must get your licence from the Environmental Affairs Minister or the MEC. They must:

  • Issue an integrated licence jointly; or
  • Issue the licence as part of a consolidated authorisation.

Bear in mind that as a holder of a waste management licence, you may be required to appoint waste management control officers.

These officers' responsibilities include developing and introducing clean production technologies and practices to ensure waste reduction. They're also required to monitor waste activities regularly and ensure that your company is always compliant.

The Health & Safety Advisor adds that this appointment may only be necessary if you have a large company and there are various sections of the Act that your company must comply with.
Now that you know the type of waste activities that must be licensed, make sure you comply.

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