The Waste Industry is a good example of how customers must be prosecuted if change is to be effected in the transport industry.
The Waste Industry needs to be cleaned up and its time the authorities took action.
Larger operators are generally investing significantly in ensuring compliance with the myriad of laws that effect this industry, not the least of which is Chain of Responsibility. BUT they are trying to compete against low price operators who are known to be flouting the law.
For example we are aware and have reported to authorities a case of where Dangerous Goods waste is being collected by small operators in non-placarded non-compliant vehicles in direct violation of the Dangerous Goods and Environmental codes.
Or low cost construction waste removers who fail to impose waste mass and type restrictions on customers, preferring or (choosing to) ignore mass, dimension and other regulatory requirements in transporting waste material to disposal sites.
If the Community Demands Compliance then It NEEDS to ENFORCE it
Governments both State and Federal have created a myriad of Environmental, Safety and other Compliance regulations to meet community demands.
But why have such Regulations if they are not going to enforce them?
Why should compliant operators invest in compliance systems if they are going to lose market share to other operators that flout such regulations in order to offer low price services?
For example, why should a company such as Veolia, who has invested heavily in achieving compliance with the rules, suffer because other operators fail to do so?
Waste is a Price Driven Market
Environmental and OHS compliance rules and council charges for landfill dumping have driven up the cost of disposing of waste.
Australians have shown that they will support good things such as these laws, but as Australian Made Campaign that commitment only lasts up until such time as they have to open their wallets.
It is the same with the Waste Industry, people want safe environmental disposal of their waste but are they prepared to pay for it, generally no.
Imagine a Property Developer that needs to dispose of waste from a site?
Which sales pitch do you think they would buy, “Company A: we can dispose of you waste safely in accordance with all regulations including on-road Chain of Responsibility laws” or “Company B. we can dispose of it for 10% less than our nearest competitor”.
Without consequences to the Property Developer, Company B wins.
The same could be said of Local Councils, where the cheapest bin collection rate often is the winner. Let’s be honest in my twenty five years of Government tendering on both sides of the fence, tendering and evaluating, price is always the winner.
Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Laws Can Effect Change
The authorities need to use the Chain of Responsibility laws to prosecute not just the operators that are not complying with the laws but also the customers that are engaging them. And there is no shortage of targets.
Prosecuting customers will drive change. Forcing customers to consider compliance as part of their purchasing decision not just cost.
AND the authorities MUST do so if they are to meet one the four key objectives of Chain of Responsibility and that is to provide a level playing field.
The laws are there and they need to use them.
But the Industry itself must get pro-active and work with Police and Enforcement authorities to provide evidence and information. The Victoria Police have recognised that this is a key issue and called for the Transport Industry in general to have the courage of their convictions.
“VicPol says drivers and operators need to have the courage of their convictions when it comes to customers who are pressuring them.” (Source – ATN)
Western Australia and NSW will lead in Prosecutions
Have no doubts that both WA and NSW authorities have the resources and ability (and in NSW case the successful track record) to prosecute Chain of Responsibility offenders.
The other states will follow in time, it will only take one social media driven incident for them to begin seriously investing in pursuing prosecutions. (Remember the Cootes Rollover last year in NSW)
WA’s wider ranging C&E Laws which come into force on the 27th April will no doubt lead to early prosecutions, as they have invested in the capability and systems to enforce the law.
The Australian Waste Industry Facts
- By 2021 it is estimated by a Federal Government report that Australia will generate over 81 million tonnes of waste, or around 4 tonnes per person per year.
- Of this we recycle over 50%, which is a good start, of which:
42% was from the construction and demolition (C&D) waste stream;
36% was from the commercial and industrial (C&I) waste stream, and
22% was from the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream.
- The Industry is worth around $ 11 billion dollars per annum
- Australia generates over 1 million tonnes of hazardous waste, of which over 30,000 tonnes is exported.