Chemicals in waste streams pose challenges to waste reuse strategies and to achieving National and State waste policy action plan targets.
Even trace levels of chemicals in waste materials can result in a hazardous waste classification and, in some cases, the trigger limits for hazardous waste classification are not well characterised.
The presence of chemicals of potential concern (CoPC) can impact recyclability and the safe reuse of materials in the economy.
Through partner and stakeholder engagement and codesign, initial research planning for IP3 focuses on three key themes for prioritisation:
- understanding the chemicals in current and emerging wastes
- de-risking the future through safe waste reuse and resource recovery
- enhancing information flows and assessment for improved outcomes and governance on hazardous wastes.
Underlying these three key themes of research are critical data gaps on the composition/mass of chemicals in our wastes, their potential release to the environment, characterisation methods and reporting, and safe reuse potential.
These are recurring issues for risk-based decision making, and de-risking the management and treatment of wastes, including the safe reuse of recovered resources.