Transfer stations and material recovery facilities
A transfer station is a depot that receives and temporarily stores waste in a designated area for minor segregation and/or minor resource recovery prior to their transport to some other approved depot for further sorting, resource recovery or disposal.
Similarly a material recovery facility (MRF) receives, stores and processes waste but with a focus on resource recovery. There will be a transfer component in order to direct the recovered recyclable wastes to a recycling facility and residual waste to disposal.
Both transfer stations and MRFs feed recovered wastes into recycling facilities that usually deal with a single recyclable waste stream to produce a recycled product instead of mixed waste for separation.
A MRF and a transfer station are both classified as a ‘waste or recycling depot’, which is an activity of environmental significance as prescribed by Schedule 1, Part A of the Environmental Protection Act 1993 (the Act), and must be licensed or otherwise authorised under Part 6 of the Act. An environmental authorisation cannot be issued until development approval has been granted.
The Resource recovery and waste transfer depots environmental guidelines1 have been formulated to assist those establishing depots in South Australia for the treatment of waste before its transfer for disposal.
The guidelines include details of issues to consider and address when preparing development proposals and management plans which will be referred to the EPA for comment under sections 5, 37, 46B, 46C, 46D or 49 of the Development Act 1993.
Appropriate development authorisation is required to establish a waste transfer depot before an environmental authorisation, eg an authority licence, can be issued.
These guidelines are intended for new and redeveloped facilities where applicable.
Additional guidelines referenced below may also be used to determine the minimum standards required for waste transfer depots in South Australia.
- Waste definitions guideline
- Undercover storage requirements for waste/recycling depots
- Guideline for stockpile management: Waste and waste derived products for
recycling and reuse
- Waste-derived materials: Guiding principles for determining approval processes and product standards
- For information on household disposal and recycling requirements, please contact your local council
- South Australia's Waste Strategy
1 The Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010 (W2R EPP) requires the EPA take this guideline document into consideration when assessing development applications and environmental authorisations for proposed transfer stations and material recovery facility sites. Proponents/licensees need to provide information relating to these considerations to the EPA, so an appropriate assessment of suitability can be made.