Risks in transporting regulated waste

Regulated waste can refer to a number of different things that must be tracked during transport. They are usually either toxic, dangerous, or at risk of theft or terrorism. Some common wastes that are classified as regulated include:

  • Clinical waste from either human or animal health care offices.
  • Certain dangerous chemicals including cyanides, ethers and nickel compounds.
  • Industrial waste treatment residues.
  • Sewerage residues.
  • Certain manufacturing wastes.
  • Animal effluent and residues.
  • More information on the exact materials that are regulated can be found in the Queensland Environmental Regulation 2008.

What are the risks associated with transporting regulated waste?

Although regulated waste is usually simple to transport and poses no risk to either you or others, there are times when it may. If you are not careful with your transport arrangements, don’t store the waste properly during transport or are negligent, then problems can arise – some of which can have serious consequences. Transport risks include:

Spillage of waste – If you are an amateur trying to transport heavily regulated or toxic waste, then there is a chance that some may escape, harming people or the environment. If this happens, then you could be held liable, especially if it is found that the problem could have been prevented. Make sure that regulated waste is always transported in secure containers that are properly sealed and secured to the vehicle.

Fines or other penalties – According to Queensland law, you must hold an environmental authority (EA) before either transporting or receiving large quantities of trackable waste. This ensures that the waste is transported in a way that will prevent illegal waste management activities such as dumping or other illegal disposal. If you are caught without the correct paperwork or authorisation to transport regulated waste, then there will be big penalties. You may be fined, sent to court, or have your vehicle confiscated.

Personal harm – Waste is usually regulated for a reason. It is usually harmful to human health, especially if prolonged or regular exposure occurs. If you transport regulated waste often then you may find yourself being exposed to higher levels of toxic chemicals than you realise, which can lead to health problems later in your life.

If you have any doubts about transporting regulated waste by yourself then you should contact a professional transport company who will have the correct paperwork and machinery to move it without any issues.