About the report
The Hazardous Waste Section has commissioned a study into whether it is feasible or not to use an agreement-based approach to achieve clearance of Australia’s 700,000 tonne stockpile of spent pot lining wastes. These hazardous wastes are produced by the processes of aluminium manufacturing and are stockpiled in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. They are hazardous because they are toxic, corrosive and reactive. If exposed to water, they can produce gases that are flammable and explosive.
This project, delivered by Randell Environmental Consulting and Ascend Waste and Environment, was done in consultation with the jurisdictions that have stockpiles of these wastes, the aluminium industry and companies involved in recycling spent pot linings. The report finds that an agreement-based approach to clearing Australia’s stockpiles of spent pot lining over a medium (such as 10 years) timeframe is feasible, but that agreements would need to be tailored to the particular histories and circumstances of the sites involved. It also finds that it may be necessary to support such agreements with public and private sector co-funding to ensure the stockpiles are cleared in such a timeframe, to appropriate fates, and that this is managed in ways that ensure health and environmental protection.
An independent peer review of this report has also been conducted.