The Waste Regulations create a framework for how to comply with the new waste duties in the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act). Waste duties apply to people who generate, transport or receive industrial waste.

Together, the waste duties and the waste Regulations manage risks to human health and the environment. They also support and encourage reuse of waste and resource recovery.

There is a three-step process to comply with the industrial waste duties:

  • Classify the waste 
  • Transport it appropriately
  • Deposit or receive the waste at a lawful place.
  • Waste classification

    Those responsible for industrial waste must properly identify and classify it. This is so it’s clear what duties apply to the waste and it’s management. 

    The proposed final Regulations introduce a new, streamlined classification system. This will help duty holders to identify wastes and find which duties apply. Schedule 5 of the proposed final regulations provides a list of the most common wastes. These have been pre-classified based on hazard and risk of mismanagement.

    Wastes that aren’t listed in Schedule 5, or are mirror code wastes, will need further hazard assessment using the Waste Classification Assessment Protocol

    Priority wastes

    Under the new laws, landfills are banned from receiving some priority wastes. These include: 

    • liquid wastes 
    • whole tyres 
    • e-waste.

    Priority wastes consigned to disposal at a landfill facility must be also categorised into one of the following: 

    • Category A, B and C

      These are similar to the existing categories in Industrial Waste Resource Guideline 631
    • Packaged waste asbestos 

      Waste asbestos (other than soil containing asbestos) must be contained so that no airborne asbestos fibres can be released. This does not include soil containing asbestos. 

    For more information about the waste categorisation criteria read Waste disposal categories – characteristics and thresholds (publication 1828).

    Contaminated soils

    • Category A, B and C 

      These categories of contaminated soils are similar to the existing categories in the current Industrial Waste Resource Guideline 621
    • Category D 

      This is a new category for low-level contaminated soils. It allows for limited containment at a project site. 
    • Asbestos-only 

      This is soil that’s contaminated by asbestos only. Category D or C can’t be used, but it can go into a landfill that’s permitted to accept asbestos.
    • Fill material (industrial waste) 

      This is soil which isn’t a hazard to human health and can be applied directly onto land.

    For more information about soil categories read Waste disposal categories – characteristics and thresholds (publication 1828).

  • Transportation

    Once classified, those responsible for industrial waste must safely contain it while it’s being transported. Some waste types also have additional containment and isolation requirements.

    In addition, some wastes will require a permission to transport and include a transaction control. This means that each time they change hands in the transport chain, duty holders must inform EPA. EPA is developing a new digital waste tracker tool to help duty holders to meet their obligations.

  • Lawful place

    Industrial waste can only go somewhere that’s authorised to receive it. This is called a ‘lawful place’. Read more about what a lawful place means.
  • Declarations of use

    A Declaration of Use (DOU) is an agreement for how a specific industrial waste, or waste by-product can be used. The DOU describes the waste, assesses its risks and says how it can be used.

    There are two types of DOU: 

    1. Industry-set standard

    This is a self-assessed agreement between a producer and receiver. It’s for low-risk wastes.

    2. EPA-set standard

    This is an agreement where EPA specifies how to manage certain low-risk wastes. It does this through a determination. A producer doesn’t need to describe and declare the material because the DOU ensures that the use of waste is fit-for-purpose.

    The DOU also allows industry to meet the lawful place duty without the need to apply for a permission. Learn more about DOU


Reviewed 21 December 2020