Information on this page is not current law. It details new laws that commence on 1 July 2021 under the Environment Protection Act 2017.

Declaration of use (DoU) is a tool that supports you in the safe reuse, storage and recovery of materials from low-risk waste. The DoU will be a short statement or checklist, usually only a couple of pages in length. It does not apply to material from high-risk wastes, which needs a permission.

DoUs will be valid for up to 12 months, or until your waste’s form changes. You won’t need a new DoU every time you receive the same kind of waste.

The DoU will involve you completing a self-assessment that:

  • describes your waste
  • assesses its risks
  • identifies legitimate uses for it
  • provides the end user with details about the quality and safety of your waste

Waste covered by a DoU

You can use a DoU for most types of industrial waste, but not reportable priority waste.

Applying waste to land is only allowed through a DoU for a limited number of wastes. They are:

  • commercial garden and landscaping organics that does not contain any physical or chemical contamination
  • untreated timber, including sawdust
  • natural organic fibrous waste.

If applying any other waste to land, you will need to seek a determination issued by EPA for guidance.

Lawful place

The duty to deposit waste at a lawful place applies to all industrial wastes, including those intended for reuse or recovery. For many types of waste, the lawful place must be a site that holds a permission. The DoU complements this requirement, offering you an alternative way to achieve lawful place for some low-risk wastes.

  • A DoU will help you meet the waste duty and help you manage risks.
  • The DoU encourages information sharing in the waste market.
  • You won’t need to submit a DoU to EPA.
  • An EPA authorised officer may ask to see your DoU.

When to use a DoU

You can use a DoU when you intend to use your industrial waste immediately, without needing to process it further. 

When a DoU is not appropriate

A DoU is not appropriate when:

  • your activity requires an EPA permission
  • your waste requires further processing or storage (new permissions apply)
  • it is a high-risk or reportable priority waste
  • you don’t intend to reuse the waste.

Read next

Find out about lawful place

Find out about industrial waste

Find out about priority waste

Find out about reportable priority waste

Reviewed 22 January 2021