A lawful place is somewhere authorised to receive industrial waste under the law. If you create, transport or receive waste you must make sure it ends up at a lawful place.
There are penalties if your waste does not go to a lawful place. These are up $82,610 for individuals and up to $413,050 for companies.
Someone convicted of an industrial waste duty offence twice in five years faces up to two years in jail.
What lawful place means for waste producers
If you create waste you must take reasonable steps to ensure your waste goes to a lawful place. This means you need to:
- identify and classify waste
- give anyone who transports your waste enough information to take it to a lawful place
- verify that the receiving site is a lawful place.
Always work with reputable contractors when transporting waste. For example, when managing reportable priority waste use a contractor who tracks it and transports it in a permissioned vehicle.
What lawful place means for waste transporters
If you transport waste you must take it to a lawful place. Always ensure the location you’re taking waste to is authorised to receive that type of waste. Never deposit waste without consent from the person receiving it.
What lawful place means for waste receivers
Only accept types of waste you are lawfully authorised to receive.
Once you accept waste you must meet your general environmental duty. This means you need to minimise risks of harm to human health and the environment from the waste.
How to verify that you’re sending waste to a lawful place
Waste producers and transporters are responsible for ensuring the site accepting their waste is a lawful place. There are several ways for a site to be a lawful place. Ask the waste receiver which one applies to their site if you need to verify it’s a lawful place.
Check the receiver meets the circumstances under regulation 63 of the Environment Protection Regulations (the Regulations).
Check if a relevant determination made under the Regulations, or section 48 determination exists that authorises receipt of your waste. The receiver must meet the conditions in the determination.
Declaration of Use
For industry-set Declarations of Use (DOU) check regulation 64(1). Make sure regulation 64(1) allows a DoU in your circumstances. Discuss the proposal to use a DoU with the waste receiver.
For EPA-set DoUs check if an existing determination applies. You can ask the waste receiver for a copy of the DoU.
Check Part 3.5 of the Regulations to find out if the waste receiver is exempt from holding a permission to accept waste.
Some sites may have an exemption granted by EPA. Check the public register to see if an existing exemption applies.
Authorised disposals and discharge
Check the public register to see if an authorised disposal and discharge (ADD) applies to the site.
ADD’s are often urgent. This means there can be a delay before details appear on the register. Contact us to confirm an ADD exists if you can’t find it on the register.
Working with an accredited consigner
An accredited consigner can help you correctly classify waste and send it to a lawful place. Working with an accredited consigner is optional.
How to establish lawful place (publication 1946)
Reviewed 25 June 2021