Draft Waste Stream Exclusion Regulations Published for Comment

16 January 2018

On 12 January 2018, the Minister of Environmental Affairs published a draft notice providing for generators of waste to apply to the Minister for exclusion of certain waste streams or a portion of a waste stream from the definition of waste.  The notice also specifically excludes a number of waste streams from the definition of waste. A copy of the draft notice (GN in Government Gazette 41380 of 12 January 2018) can be accessed at www.sawic.environment.gov.za under “Draft documents for comment” and members of the public are invited to submit comments on the notice by 12 February 2018.
 
Who is affected?
The draft notice is intended to promote diversion of waste from disposal through its beneficial use. The following persons or categories of persons may apply to the Minister for exclusion:

  • a person who generates waste; or
  • any group of persons who generate waste, who may submit a combined application to the Minster, if the waste generated has the same risk of adverse environmental impact when used for a specific purpose.

The draft notice does not:

  • apply to generators of domestic waste which falls within the jurisdiction of a Municipality; or
  • exempt the holder of any waste which has been excluded, from complying with any other applicable legislation.

Application process
Applications for exclusion must be lodged with the Minister in the prescribed format (published as Annexure A to the draft notice). In order to qualify for the exemption an applicant must:

  • demonstrate that the waste is being used or has been used for a specific purpose either locally or internationally;
  • submit a risk assessment demonstrating that the use of the specific waste can be managed in such a way that the use will not result in significant adverse impacts on the environment; and
  • ensure that a risk management plan responding to the risks identified in the risk assessment undertaken in (b) above, accompanies any delivery of waste material to the user. This plan must also record the amount of waste distributed to specific users for a permitted use. These records must be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs on an annual basis or on demand.

Specific waste streams excluded
Five categories of waste streams or portions of waste streams are excluded from the definition of waste, in Schedule 1 of the draft notice and the permitted use of the relevant waste is specified in each category. The categories are as follows:

  • slag from metallurgical processes;
  • ash from combustion and gasification processes;
  • gypsum from pulp, paper and cardboard production and processing and combustion and gasification processes; and
  • biomass.

Transitional Arrangements
A person who lawfully commenced any permitted use or provides any waste listed in Schedule 1 for permitted use, prior to the promulgation of the regulations must notify the Minister in writing of any intention to continue the use. If a person has commenced this activity unlawfully prior to the promulgation, then he or she must apply to the Minister for rectification. If the application is made within 6 months of the promulgation, then the activity will be regularised without a penalty.

When the regulations come into force, failing to comply with them will constitute an offence, attracting 15 years imprisonment, a fine or both such fine and imprisonment.




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17 January 2018

Join our expert team in a full-day workshop exploring the hot topics in South African environmental law.

Cape Town // 13 March 2018 // 08:30–16:00

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