The Waste Collection Services (WCSv1.0i-2018) standard seeks to set an environmental benchmark for waste collection services collecting waste from the point of collation and collection to a lawful processing or disposal facility.
In June 2019, the standard was expanded to a national level. Waste collection services from all Australian states and territories can now apply for GECA Certification using this standard.
Waste generation in Australia has increased significantly during recent years, and some waste is still poorly managed leading to significant impacts on health, local and global environments and the economy.
The environmental consequences of waste production can be significant and major environmental loads, such as the production and release of methane (CH4) into the atmosphere and landfill leachate that can pollute waterways or stem from waste sent to landfill that could have been reused or recycled.
Some of the key concerns that have driven this standard include:
🔸 Diversion to landfill;
🔸 Transport of waste to cheaper landfill sites that may not be meeting environmental responsibilities;
🔸 Push towards weight based reporting and, eventually invoicing; and
🔸 Contamination, including the point of contamination and how this is dealt with.
Increasingly, waste generators and waste collection services acknowledge the risk of poor waste management and are shifting toward best practice waste collection. Improved waste collection data will assist waste generators and collection services to better manage waste and improve their environmental performance.
GECA aims to reward waste collection companies for implementing best practice waste collection.
In successfully certifying to the standard companies will be demonstrating:
🔸 Quality service;
🔸 Accuracy of data for reporting; and
This standard is the first in a suite of waste standards GECA aims to develop in order to promote and reward best practice waste management.
We would like to acknowledge the funding and support for the development of this standard including: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, City of Sydney and the NSW Environment Protection Authority – a NSW EPA Waste Less Recycle More Initiative funded from the Waste Levy.
The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) has worked with NABERS and GECA to develop two supporting programs; NABERS Waste, and our Waste Collection Services standard. BBP encourages leading organisations to embrace these two initiatives as part of their waste improvement program.
An important resource is the Operational Waste Guidelines by BBP. The Guidelines were developed to assist building owners and property managers to work more effectively and consistently with their waste and cleaning contractors. The Guidelines include a number of tools to create, procure and implement effective waste management programs.
You can find suggested wording and model on page 13 (A.1 Model Contract Clauses – Contractors) that includes the pathways to use the GECA Waste Collection Services standard and certified contractors into your own waste management program.
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