About the webinar
EPA’s new waste framework is now in place as part of the Environment Protection Act 2017 with a new system for processing waste levy statements and adjustments.
The commencement of the Act includes important changes that waste and resource recovery facilities must comply with to operate legally.
This webinar focused on:
- Key changes to the waste levy (formerly landfill levy)
- A walk through of the key processes you will undertake from 1 October 2021 in the new EPA Portal
- An overview of the upcoming Waste Mass Balance requirements, the associated guideline and template
- Waste Mass Balance consultation process and timeframes
If I have a transfer station on my landfill, will I have to pay levy on any waste received on that transfer station?
A levy is payable for waste received at landfills, not at transfer stations.
The waste levy is payable for any site that meets the A13 permission conditions, whether they are registered as yet.
Transfer stations at landfills will need to apply as soon as possible for an A13 permission and demonstrate that the levy is paid for all waste received at the landfill. They must also maintain records about:
- the location of the transfer station
- material flows between the landfill and the transfer station.
When will landfill licence conditions be updated to align with the new laws?
A sector review for landfill licences is scheduled for later in 2021/22.
If a transfer station is on the same parcel of land as a landfill, but the landfill area is separately fenced and licensed, is an A13 permission required?
Whether you need an A13 permission depends on the activity you conduct. An A13 permission is needed when:
- the permission assessment process determines r a separate permission is needed, or
- the A13 activity would be added to the current licence.
While the application for the registration for an onsite transfer station shows approved on my dashboard, where does the approval go?
Approval for a registration (the statutory document) is emailed to the key contact on the application.
What if I don't have the equipment or infrastructure to supply the information in the report?
EPA anticipates that waste mass balance guideline will be published in December 2021. Landfill sites will have six months to set up any data collection systems to provide data for waste mass balance (WMB). Landfill sites will be required to:
- collect data for WMB from July 2022
- submit Q1 FY2022-23 with first quarterly levy statement by December 2022.
When do we have start to submit Waste Mass Balance reports?
From Q1 FY 2022-23. Your first quarterly levy statement for FY 2022-23 is required within 64 days after 30 September 2022.
Where can we find the Waste Mass Balance template that we need to complete?
We will send out the template for you to trial in Q3 of this financial year. The final template will be formally used from Q1 in FY22.
What happens if I can't complete all of the template?
The waste mass balance template spreadsheet has unlocked cells to enter data into. The lookup lists are locked. This is for consistency across reporting facilities. If there is a need for additional lookup items, we invite submissions through this consultation.
Is onsite material included in the template?
Yes, it is included in Temporary Storage 3(TS3). The inclusion of onsite won waste provides an overview of onsite source and the fate of waste. Irrespective of mass balance reporting, it is not subject to the levy. It does not need to be weighed but may be estimated. Inclusion or exclusion of this data should not affect the balancing of MB data. We are consulting with industry now and keen to receive feedback.
The waste mass balance solution seems overly complicated, isn't there a simpler mechanism?
This is a new reporting regime and industry submissions are now open for feedback. The proposed solution template works by the user entering data which is then used to populate the flow diagram. We have tried to keep the solution and template as simple and clear as possible.
Can waste mass balance reporting be incorporated into Waste Tracker?
Waste Tracker focuses on reportable priority waste and waste mass balance reporting is a much broader range of waste types and periods, which unfortunately can't be incorporated into waste tracker's current form.
How do we know who the liable person signatory is?
This is the most senior Australian based officer for the company that holds the landfill licence. The liable person signatory is required to provide electronic sign off on quarterly waste levy statements under the Environment Protection Act 2017. This is the person who would likely have signed off on your previous annual landfill levy statements. If you haven't already, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and email address your contact person and liable person signatory used when they signed up to the EPA Portal. This will ensure that we have the correct details to email your notifications for submission and sign off.
How does the liable person signatory actually sign off on the statement?
Security settings in the system will allow access to the approval screens by logging in with the liable person signatory (LPS) credentials When approving the waste levy statement, the LPS needs to type their full name in the indicated box and this will meet the sign-off requirements.
How do we check who is listed as the contact person and liable person signatory for our permission?
Please contact the Waste Levy Team at email@example.com
The waste recovery rebate can only be claimed for waste transferred for resource recovery within 3 months of the waste being received. However, this timeframe may span two reporting periods, for example, you could have received waste on 25 June then transferred it out on 5 July. In this case you would have to record waste that was received in the previous quarter that is eligible for a rebate claim in the present quarter in the "waste received in the previous period" section.
What happens if I made a mistake on my statement and need to change it?
If the liable person signatory (LPS) has not yet signed off on your statement, the LPS can reject the statement to then allow the contact person to make the necessary changes.
If your statement has already been signed off and submitted to EPA, contact EPA. EPA will initiate an adjustment on your statement which you will then need to validate.
When can I see the total amount of the waste levy I need to pay?
Once you have submitted your approved statement to EPA, you will then receive an email with your statement invoice. This is different from the previous system, when an invoice was generated at the time of your statement submission. You can also view the invoice amount under payment status in the waste levy dashboard in the EPA Portal.
How soon after the end of the quarter will the levy templates be available?
The new waste levy statements should be available to complete on the first day of the new quarter.
Why is there a tick box to claim the cover rebate? Wouldn't all landfills want to claim this and therefore should be automatically ticked?
This is to support the wording in the Act that landfills "may" claim cover rebate. We may revise this in future if needed, by making the tick box default to being checked.
If you tick the cover rebate, what percent or quantities or dollar amount are calculated?
Cover rebate is calculated at 15% of the total waste received subject to waste levy for the relevant period, then multiplied by the respective municipal levy rate. This is unchanged from the previous Environment Protection Act.
Why can't we see the waste levy final amount before submitting our statement, as we could with the previous system? It would be useful to have this amount before sending the statement to the CEO for approval.
Our new system doesn't currently allow for the final waste levy amount to be shown at the time of submission, as some calculations and integration with our finance system need to occur to provide this amount. The statement will then be emailed to you almost immediately.
We are currently working on an Excel template that you can use to calculate your waste levy separately and produce the final amount, before submitting for approval.
In Councils, before the levy statement goes to the CEO for approval, it gets checked by the manager and director. Will this new online process have that option?
A company can have more than one contact on a statement who could review the submission before sending to the signatory for final sign off. Please provide us with the portal sign in details of who needs to be added as a contact to see any statements. We are also developing an Excel template for you to calculate your levy separately outside of the system which you can use for internal checking before submitting to the liable person signatory for approval.
What system do I use to submit my waste levy statement?
You must use the new EPA Portal to submit your waste levy statements on a quarterly basis. You can also see your statement history and any adjustments in your EPA Portal dashboard.
How do I sign up to the new EPA Portal?
Waste levy statements are accessed using the EPA Portal. Here are the instructions on how to register.
What is a waste levy?
Under the Environment Protection Act 2017, the waste levy replaces landfill levy. The Environment Protection Act 2017 states that the waste levy is payable when waste is received at a landfill. This is a change from the Environment Protection Act 1970 which states that the landfill levy is payable for waste that is deposited onto land.
Why is there a waste levy?
One of the key purposes of the waste levy is to help reduce waste. It does this by helping to fund and support efforts by the government, industry and the community. Waste levies encourage waste generators to look for ways to reduce the amount of waste they generate and receive at a landfill.
What are the changes to the waste levy introduced by the Environment Protection Act 2017?
The waste levy replaces the landfill levy. Waste levy statements must now be submitted quarterly through the new EPA Portal. Adjustments can be initiated at any time after submission of the statement by either the permission holder, or EPA. The statutory timeframe for waste levy payment is 64 business days after the end of the relevant period. The waste recovery rebate can only be claimed for waste transferred for resource recovery within 3 months of the waste being received.
Priority waste that is soil is no longer an allowable rebate.
Why are these changes being made?
One of the key purposes of the waste levy is to help reduce waste. It does this by helping to fund and support efforts by the government, industry and the community. Waste levies encourage waste generators to look for ways to reduce the amount of waste they generate and receive at a landfill. These changes are being made in accordance with the changes introduced by the Environment Protection Act 2017 and will help industry and EPA to better protect the environment and human health.
How often do I need to submit waste levy statements?
Under the Environment Protection Act 2017, waste levy statements must be submitted every quarter.
What is the timeframe for paying my waste levy?
The statutory timeframe for waste levy payment is 64 business days after the end of the relevant period for which the levy was calculated.
I need to make a change to a waste levy statement that I've already submitted, how do I do that?
You will need to call EPA to initiate an adjustment on your statement which you will then need to validate. You can make changes to your statement before the liable person signatory (LPS) submits it to First, the LPS needs to reject the statement so the contact person can make the necessary changes before sign off and submission to EPA.
How often can I make adjustments to my waste levy statement?
You can make an adjustment to your statement any time after the statement is submitted by contacting EPA, not just annually.
Have waste levy rates increased?
Increases to landfill levies were announced by the Victorian Government in February 2020 as part of the Recycling Victoria circular economy strategy, bringing Victoria's waste levy rates in line with other states. The increases came into effect on 1 July 2021.
What percent of the cover rebate can I claim?
The cover rebate is calculated at 15% of the total waste received subject to waste levy for the relevant period, then multiplied by the respective municipal levy rate. This is unchanged from the previous Act.
What happens if EPA owes me money due to an adjustment?
If your levy statement is adjusted and you are owed money you will receive an adjustment statement email from EPA. This will have the amount of the adjustment and a refund form. If your adjustment has resulted in a negative waste levy balance, you will see an adjustment with the status 'Credit or Refund' in the EPA Portal. EPA will issue refunds within 21 business days. If you would prefer to offset the amount as a credit on a future statement, please contact EPA.
How do I access previous landfill levy statements?
Landfills are responsible for maintaining adequate information including their previous statements. A summary of statements taken from the previous portal as well as your own records used to submit the statement at time is sufficient.
The old EPA Interaction Portal is planned to be decommissioned on 16 December 2021. Until 15 December 2021, permission holders will have self-serve access to previous submitted statements. After this time, direct any requests for previous statements to EPA. However, responsibility for maintaining records will remain with the permission holder.
How long do I have to pay my waste levy?
You must pay the waste levy within 64 business days from the end of the relevant period for which the levy was calculated.
Why is category C and category D waste split out separately?
Category D is industrial waste that is soil - with contaminant and leachable concentration greater than the upper limits for fill material contaminant and leachable concentration, but lower than category C contaminant concentrations. Category D was created to better support on-site reuse of soils with low levels of contaminants, with a new permit A17 available for containment of category D waste soil at a project site.
It will depend on whether it is an aerobic or anaerobic processing operation for compost or solely a transfer station. Processing is an A07 activity, whereas a transfer station is an A13 activity. If A07, you will need to contact EPA to apply for a permission for this activity and discuss how this should be treated.
How does the waste levy apply to sites which are landfills and also have a composting operation on site?
Composting operations at landfills should already have a permission in place - typically that is to have both the A05 and the A07 scheduled activity within the licence.
To avoid levy payment for waste that is received for composting and is subsequently transferred to a location outside of the landfill premises, the first step is to ensure that the location of the composting activity is clearly delineated in the premises plan of the landfill licence, and maintain and implement operational documentation illustrating flow of materials.
Where do we record fill material that is used for construction purposes?
Waste that is used for purposes exempt from the levy is not required to be submitted into the EPA Portal as part of the waste levy statement.
Isn’t clean fill now levied at the industrial levy rate? And we only get a municipal levy rebate?
Clean fill is industrial waste and the industrial waste levy rate applies. This was true under the 1970 Act when clean fill was deposited as waste. However, when clean fill is used for daily cover, under the 2017 Act the industrial levy rate applies and is rebated at the municipal levy rate on total waste received. This is relevant to rural landfills whether the industrial and municipal waste levies are not equal.
Does EPA expect landfills to record all incoming material for approved construction projects by weight - including subgrade, clay, lining materials (geomembrane), leachate pipes and drainage aggregates, and so on by weight?
No. Both the waste levy statement submissions and waste mass balance reporting only require waste to be included. Therefore, materials purchased expressly for the purpose of construction are not included in these data reporting requirements.
Why is mass balance reporting needed?
Waste mass balance (WMB) will show the movement of waste after being received at landfill sites. In addition, this balance will provide amounts of the waste used for levy exempted construction activities. WMB will also complement the supporting information in recycling rebates.
A challenge will be to accurately calculate the volume and density to determine tonnes from temporary storage to operational use or disposal, how are we expected to do this?
All waste received at a landfill must be weighed using a weighbridge per regulation 20(2). For mass balance reporting purposes, onsite-won waste may be reasonably estimated using volume and a density conversion factor.
We don't weigh onsite cover at the moment, will we be required to?
Onsite cover material is not required to be weighed. We are proposing to include it in mass balance reporting. It may be estimated by volume (number of trucks) and a density factor.
How do we apply materials that come onsite for operational purposes?
The waste mass balance is only intended to capture waste and not virgin materials used for operational purposes. All waste that comes onsite or is generated onsite should be reported, whether levy is paid or not.
Are carry over tonnes that same as waste recorded in the previous period? Why use two different terms?
‘Carry forward' in one quarter's mass balance report becomes ’carry over' in the next quarter's.
We are continually reminded on everything we submit about penalties of making false and misleading information. This will be challenging to provide waste mass balance when moving materials around site, it is not as easy as coming in and out over weighbridge. You are not going to weigh everything moving around your complex. How are you going to address this fear of having penalties applied?
We are seeking industry feedback on the proposed waste mass balance (WMB)reporting template, including the incorporation of onsite generated waste into the template. Whether it is included or not, the WMB data should balance. That material is not subject to levy and does not need to be weighed. If it is included in the final WMB then it may be estimated through volume and density. It should be a reasonable estimate of the onsite generated waste but there will not be compliance and enforcement consequences for any inaccuracies in data about onsite generated waste where reasonable efforts can be seen.
There is currently an issue with waste codes for registering transfer stations. When will these be fixed and ready for registration?
We are currently adding the additional administrative codes to the EPA Portal. We expect them to be available in early October 2021.
All applications for A13 licences or permits should be submitted before 1 October to comply with the temporary exemption period. If administrative waste codes are required, make a note in the application and EPA will add them.
Applications for registrations that require these codes should wait until after the administrative codes are available because registrations can’t be amended.
Our licence was altered to allow receival of commercial asbestos. What levy applies to packaged asbestos?
The packaged waste asbestos levy rate is defined in the levy rates on our website.
From this session and past questions put to the EPA about the changes a typical response is "you need to go and look at the section of the regulations". So, it's about interpretation? At the end of the day, it's up to the EPA is it not? Why can't the EPA provide more certain responses? OR, do we all have to engage lawyers to interpret the regulations?
In addition to the legislative framework, guidance to industry is available on how to comply. Please contact EPA if you need further advice.
How often do we have to submit the report?
Waste mass balances must be submitted with each quarterly statement from FY 2022-23.
Why is intermediate capping not listed?
Intermediate capping areas are those that do not have an engineered landfill cap and are not scheduled to receive waste during the next three months (Landfill BPEM (publication 788)). The operational uses included in the mass balance template are not exhaustive. Intermediate capping may be included as final capping. If duty holders require additional operational uses for inclusion, we will consider all submissions.
Are onsite residential transfer stations allowed for in the flowcharts?
Before the transfer station is registered as A13c, the wastes that are received and recovered or on-sent to the landfill should be included in waste mass balance reporting. Once the transfer station is registered as A13c, mass balance reporting is no longer required. Only waste that subsequently goes from the transfer station to the landfill is captured by the mass balance reporting.
Reviewed 10 November 2021