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

Classification is the process of identifying and describing industrial waste. If you create, manage or control industrial waste, you must classify it.

Classification helps you manage risks of harm to human health and the environment from waste. It can also help you meet your obligations under the general environmental duty

The classification process helps you identify your waste. Classifying waste helps you:

  • determine which waste duties  apply
  • pass relevant information along the waste supply chain so people receiving waste can manage risks
  • determine a lawful place  to take waste for resource recovery (recycling or reprocessing waste or recovering energy from waste), reuse or disposal.

An accredited consigner  can help you classify your waste. Working with an accredited consigner is optional.
Industrial, priority and reportable priority waste

Industrial waste is the broad category covering most waste. It includes household waste accumulated at a waste facility such as a transfer station or landfill.

Classifying industrial waste involves:

Priority waste is a subset of industrial waste. It carries additional controls, including a duty to consider alternatives to landfill

Reportable priority waste carries the highest-level controls for managing specific risks. Additional controls for this waste type include transportation only by permissioned vehicles  and mandatory tracking of waste  during transportation.

The duties and obligations associated with these waste categories accumulate. For example, you must manage reportable priority waste in accordance with the industrial, priority and reportable priority waste duties.

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How to classify waste

Reviewed 23 March 2021