Prescribed industrial waste classifications
Find out about EPA's classifications for PIW. Includes classifications for reuse, disposal, temporary storage and contaminated soil.
EPA issues classifications for prescribed industrial wastes (PIW), for both manufacturing waste and contaminated soil, in accordance with clause 11 of the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009. Classifications made prior to July 2009 under clause 11(1) of the Industrial Waste Management Policy (Prescribed Industrial Waste) remain in effect until they expire or are revoked by the EPA.
Classifications may be grouped into the following categories:
Classifications that ban waste streams from landfill are issued when alternative reuse or recycling options are identified. This results in higher hierarchy management of many PIWs that have previously been taken to landfill for disposal. For example, this might enable the energy to be recovered from waste streams, turning what was once deemed a waste into a recoverable, re-useable and/or valuable resource.
Currently these classifications include: architectural and decorative paint; industrial transformers; grease interceptor trap waste; used oil filters; large containers; and soils contaminated with organic compounds.
This classification (PDF 52KB) applies to architectural and decorative paints from trade sources. It was developed to reduce the regulatory burden associated with transport and temporary storage at collections sites operating under the National Paint Product Stewardship Scheme. Published on page 594 of Government Gazette G14 (PDF 1.68MB, Victoria Government Gazette).
The National Paint Product Stewardship, Paintback, is an initiative of the paint industry in partnership with government to improve the management of end-of-life waste architectural and decorative paints. For more information on the scheme go to Paint stewardship on the Sustainability Victoria website or see the Paintback website.
This classification (PDF 114KB) for unprocessed used cooking fats and oils was developed to reduce the regulatory burden for industries recovering resources. As liquid wastes these fats and oils are Category A prescribed industrial waste (PIW) under the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009. This classification recognises unprocessed used cooking fats and oils as a non-PIW, provided appropriate measures are in place to prevent pollution to the environment. EPA created this classification based on advice and data from existing facilities and experts. Published on page 2029 of Government Gazette G37 (PDF 1.6MB, Victoria Government Gazette).
See Unprocessed used cooking fats and oils classification for additional guidance and helpful links.
Classification for end-of-life industrial transformers containing PCB-free oil
End-of-life industrial transformers containing oil with a PCB concentration of less than 2 mg/kg (PCB-free oil), declared as waste by the waste generator (‘waste’) and having been managed in accordance with the conditions of this classification, are classified as non-prescribed industrial waste. For further details, refer to the Transformer classification (PDF 141KB) published in Government Gazette S432 (PDF 422KB, Victoria Government Gazette).
Retail food businesses such as restaurants and fast food outlets use grease traps to capture food, grease and solids before discharging wastewater to sewer. The residual waste that is captured is called grease interceptor trap waste and is one of the highest volume PIW streams in Victoria. It is estimated that the landfill ban diverts more than 5000 tonnes of this waste from disposal to reuse and recycling options, such as composting and grease recovery, ensuring this waste is recognised as a valuable resource.
The Industrial waste resource guideline 4.3 Grease interceptor trap waste explains the requirements for waste generators, transporters and facilities that receive grease interceptor trap waste and how EPA will implement the classification.
Used oil filters are generated mainly by automotive workshops from servicing vehicles. This classification mandates that used oil filters must be recycled to recover valuable metal and oil resources.
The Industrial waste resource guideline 4.3 Oil filters explains the requirements for waste generators, transporters and facilities that receive used oil filters and how EPA will implement the classification.
EPA has classified rigid steel and plastic containers with an original volume greater than or equal to 200 litres to be reused or recycled to recover valuable metal and plastic resources. It is estimated that up to 2000 tonnes of containers will be diverted from landfill to reuse and recycling options, ensuring the recovery of resources and reducing waste volumes disposed to landfill.
The Industrial waste resource guideline 4.3 Large containers with PIW explains the requirements of the classification for waste generators, transporters and facilities that receive large containers and how EPA will implement the classification.
EPA has classified soils containing the below contaminants as wastes with the potential for reuse, recycling, recovery of energy and treatment:
The Classification for contaminated soil (publication 878) explains the requirements of the classification for waste generators, transporters and facilities that receive soils contaminated with organic compounds. The classification was published in Government Gazette No. G44 (PDF 461KB, Victoria Government Gazette), p.27 2002.
Producers and treaters of contaminated soils are required to categorise the soil into Category A, B, C or clean fill to determine what management options are available. Soil hazard categorisation and management (publication IWRG621) offers guidance how to categorise contaminated soil.
In some instances it may be practicable and environmentally beneficial to reuse or treat soil onsite. Any such activities must be undertaken in accordance with the general provisions of the policy and any site specific directions and controls established by EPA.
References to Classification No. 2011/018, which outlined management options for contaminated soil, have been removed. The Supreme Court of Victoria determined this classification to be invalid (Maddingley Brown Coal Pty Ltd v Environment Protection Authority  VSC 582). EPA is currently working on an alternative approach to clarify the law in relation to the reuse of contaminated soil.
These general classifications may be used by anyone wanting to dispose of these types of waste, provided they meet the conditions of the classification. All classifications are published in the Government Gazette and can be easily downloaded from the website using the links below.
The following classifications have been revoked (effective 1 July 2009) as these values have been amended. Refer to the Industrial waste resource guideline 6.3 Solid industrial waste hazard categorisation and management.
The animal effluent and residues classification has also been revoked (effective 1 July 2009). Solid residues from animal effluent including abattoir effluent, poultry and fish processing waste is considered commercial food waste (provided the solid residues have not undergone any treatment or chemical addition), which is an industrial waste under the new Regulations.
EPA may issue a specific classification under regulation 11(1)(b) of the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009.
This is primarily restricted to the temporary storage of non-friable asbestos by public utilities – where their depot does not meet the conditions for an exemption under the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 and EPA assesses that it is appropriate to do so, subject to appropriate conditions. A specific classification also exempts the public utility and its contractors from vehicle permit and waste transport certificate requirements in relation to the movement of the material from the initial premises to the temporary storage location.
A specific classification relating to the temporary storage of asbestos will have a range of conditions that the approval holder will have to meet. These include the following:
This page was copied from EPA's old website. It was last updated on 23 August 2019.
Reviewed 29 July 2020