Joint approach to cut down paper waste certificates

Issued: 11 May 2023

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is working closely with the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) to develop a nationally consistent integrated waste tracking system that will fully digitise the waste tracking process.

Executive Director of Industry and Development Brad Wirth said currently in Queensland, operators can submit waste tracking information to the department using an online form, a bulk upload service or through the submission of paper-based waste tracking certificates.

“A large number of operators still prefer to use paper waste certificates that then need to be digitised and uploaded into the department’s waste tracking database which can be time consuming and inefficient,” Mr Wirth said.

“Between 2016 and 2021, the department received more than 2.6 million waste tracking movement records. Over 800,000 of these were paper waste tracking certificates.

“To help us streamline the process and improve data accuracy, DES is working with the NSW EPA to develop a new integrated tracking and reporting system that will greatly improve both jurisdictions ability to accurately track the movement of hazardous waste.

“NSW EPA has engaged a qualified contractor to design the new system that will work both individually for NSW and Queensland, as well as seamlessly between the two states.

"The system is being designed so that it can be adopted by other jurisdictions or integrated with their existing tracking systems. The project team is already engaging with Victoria to ensure the new system will connect with Victoria’s existing waste tracking system.”

Mr Wirth said DES is committed to working with waste operators and the waste transporters to implement an efficient system that also benefits the industry.

“A high-quality tracking system will make it easier for operators to comply with the relevant waste-related legislation and will reduce compliance costs.

“Industry is heavily involved in the design of the waste tracking system with targeted stakeholder engagement with key waste industry representatives in NSW and Queensland already underway.

“An Industry Advisory Group and Industry Engagement Group have been established consisting of a diverse range of industry representatives, waste handlers and local government authorities across both states.”

The new integrated waste tracking system is proposed to be completed by August 2023 with implementation to follow in consultation with industry.

More information about the integrated waste tracking process can be found at IWTS Updates.