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Construction and demolition (C&D) activities generate a range of industrial waste materials including:

  • excavated material such as rock and soil
  • waste asphalt, bricks, concrete, plasterboard, timber and vegetation
  • asbestos and contaminated soil.

If you don’t manage construction and demolition waste in the right way, it can harm human health and the environment.  

There is legislation and guidelines for the correct management of solid waste from civil and construction and demolition sites.

How to dispose of C&D waste

Under section 27A(2) of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act), any person (including a waste generator, transporter or receiver) who dumps or permits the inappropriate disposal of industrial waste at a place that cannot lawfully accept that waste type faces a fine of more than $7500, or up to 5000 penalty units if prosecuted. EPA can require the waste generator, transporter and receiver to clean up and pay for waste to be taken to a lawful place.

Find out how we calculate fees and fines.

To find a facility near you that can accept industrial waste, such as a landfill, transfer station or recycling facility, contact your local council or regional waste management group.

More information:

Waste generators

As a waste generator, you are legally responsible for ensuring waste is taken to a facility that can lawfully accept it. You cannot rely on the word of others, such as waste transporters, sub-contractors or managers of waste facilities. Waste receipt dockets from an approved waste disposal facility are your only guarantee that waste from your site is going to the right place.

Waste transporters

As a waste transporter, it’s your responsibility to know what type of waste you’re transporting and that the disposal location can lawfully accept it. Relying on advice from others, such as consultants, contractors or managers of waste facilities, is no defence for taking waste to a place that cannot lawfully be used as a waste facility.

Waste receivers

Individual landowners who accept industrial waste such as bricks and concrete onto their land may find themselves liable to fines, prosecution and cleanup costs. Once the waste is on your property, it is your responsibility.

EPA and local councils will not clean up waste for private landowners or occupiers of private land.

Tips for managing C&D waste

  • Know what types of waste will be generated during excavation, demolition and construction.
  • If a quote for managing waste is low, find out why. The company may be avoiding costs by taking the waste to a place that cannot lawfully be used as a waste facility.
  • Keep accurate written records such as:
  • who transported the waste (company name, ABN, vehicle registration and driver details, date and time of transport, description of waste)
  • copies of waste receipts from the waste facility (date and time of delivery, name and address of the facility, its ABN, contact person).

While not a requirement, preparing and implementing a waste management plan ahead of demolition is an effective way of managing lawful waste disposal. The level of detail in the waste management plan should reflect the size and complexity of the project's waste issues.

  • Regularly update the waste management plan to record how waste is managed and audit where waste is taken.
  • Provide adequate supervision to ensure waste management plans are implemented and complied with, and regularly audit everyone who manages waste on your behalf.
  • Provide training about the waste management plan and protecting the environment.

A good plan would include:

  • details of each type of waste that will be generated, and the management action proposed for each type of waste
  • procedures that ensure the waste is dispose of at a lawful place
  • a description of the roles and responsibilities of everyone who manages the waste, including the site supervisor and subcontractors.

Supplying information about waste

At any time, you can be asked to supply information about your waste. Ensure all relevant information is disclosed, such as:

  • waste assessment and categorisation reports, including sampling methodologies and laboratory analysis for potentially harmful materials such as contaminated soil
  • written procedures and plans for managing waste, including handling and storage procedures, and incident response plans
  • development applications, including waste management plans
  • site assessments including contaminated site assessments, and environmental and geotechnical studies.

The maximum penalty for supplying false or misleading information about waste to EPA is $373,104.

Reporting suspected illegal waste disposal

Reducing large-scale dumping of industrial waste (including construction and demolition waste) is a priority for EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce program.

Where you suspect someone is handling waste unlawfully or illegally dumping waste, you can report illegal waste disposal.

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How to manage asbestos waste

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Energy from waste guidance

How to manage e-waste

Glass reprocessing guidance

Hazardous waste management

Temporary storage of prescribed industrial waste (PIW)

Transporting prescribed industrial waste (PIW)

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This page was copied from EPA's old website. It was last updated on 29 July 2019.

Reviewed 9 December 2021