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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 9 Hansard (27 September) . . Page.. 2841..


Environment—used cooking oil

(Question No 1624)

Mr Seselja asked the Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, upon notice, on 21 August 2007 (redirected to the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services):

(1) Given that used cooking oils suitable for recycling must be stored in suitable, sealed and secured containers, why is there a requirement that such oils must not be stored within 10 metres of a storm water sump;

(2) Are businesses that are not able to meet the above criteria precluded from participating in a used cooking oil recycling initiative;

(3) What environment protection guidelines exist for the storage and collection of used cooking oil;

(4) What structures are in place to ensure that collection vehicles used for the collection of used cooking oil operate within environment protection guidelines;

(5) Does the Government license and control operators who collect stored used cooking oil for recycling;

(6) What structures are in place to ensure the safe handling and recycle usage/disposal of used cooking oil after it has been collected.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Oils and other substances are permitted to be stored within 10m of the stormwater system, including stormwater sumps, provided that the following are complied with.

(a) The container is not exposed to rain or runoff, and

(b) The container is secured, and

(c) The container is watertight.

Where businesses are unable to comply with the above then the used cooking oil should be stored within the business premises to minimise the potential for persons to interfere with the waste and cause a spill to occur.

Under the Environment Protection Act 1997 (the Act) it is an offence if a person leaves a prohibited substance (which includes cooking fat or oil) unattended: and within 10m of a drain or water way; and exposed to rain or runoff and not securely contained within a watertight container.

(2) No. See answer to Q1.

(3) Environment Protection and Heritage have a Business and Industry Information Sheet titled Retail Food Business. The information sheet covers potential sources of pollution from businesses engaged in the food business. The information sheet provides advice on ways to minimise the potential for activities associated with the business to pollute the environment. Storage of liquids, including used cooking is covered in the information sheet.


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