Trade waste rules reviewed

Even low levels of trade waste can cause issues with public wastewater systems.

Auckland Council is asking industries and businesses for feedback on its Trade Waste Bylaw 2013.

The consultation is part of a five-yearly bylaw review process to see how well current rules are working and what improvements could be made.

Public consultation closes on June 10.

Trade premises across Auckland discharge trade waste into the public wastewater system every day.

This includes wastewater from food, chemical, pharmaceutical, metal, bitumen, concrete, paint and detergent manufacturing.

Regulatory Committee chair Councillor Linda Cooper says if Council does not put effective controls in place, these discharges can have a harmful effect on wastewater pipes, the environment and public health.

“We’ve all seen or heard of the massive fatbergs that block our sewers,” she says. “This bylaw is about taking practical steps to reduce these sorts of harmful effects.

“Through this bylaw, Council makes rules that require occupiers of trade premises who discharge trade waste to meet minimum discharge standards.

“After a recent review, we’re now suggesting some changes to make the bylaw more effective and improve understanding of how we regulate trade waste.”

As part of the management of trade waste, monitoring is undertaken at discharge sites, at strategic points in the wastewater network and at the wastewater treatment plant. This monitoring shows that while improvements have been made in some areas, problems still exist and a baseline background of non-compliance is present.

A wide range of pollutants such as lead, mercury and solvents are still being discharged.

Cr Cooper says stakeholders consider that trade waste discharges continue to pose a risk with concerns ranging from the discharge of fats, oils and grease to the discharge of persistent pollutants.

She says the bylaw works in conjunction with other regulation to support waste minimisation, cleaner production, efficient recycling and reuse of waste streams.

Among the proposed changes is the introduction of the Trade Waste Control 2019 (Control) section of the bylaw, which sets out current limits to flow rates and volumes for low-risk discharges, and current limits to characteristics and substances in trade waste discharges.

A drop-in session to discuss the bylaw will be held at the Auckland Central Library, 44 Lorne Street, on Friday May 31, from 9.30-10.30am, or for further information, email tradewastebylaw@water.co.nz.


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