Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Waste legislation

The following Acts and Regulations govern waste management and recycling in NSW. They contain the requirements for minimising harm to human health and the environment when handling, storing, transporting, processing, recovering resources from and disposing of waste.

Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997

The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) is the principal environmental protection legislation for NSW. It defines 'waste' for regulatory purposes and establishes management and licensing requirements for waste. It defines offences relating to waste and sets penalties. The POEO Act also establishes the ability to set various waste management requirements via the POEO (Waste) Regulation.

Protection of the Environment Operations (Illegal Waste Disposal) Act 2013

The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Illegal Waste Disposal) Act 2013 amends the POEO Act to more effectively deal with illegal waste disposal and fraud in the waste sector.

Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (the ‘2014 Waste Regulation’) provides for contributions to be paid by occupiers of scheduled waste facilities for each tonne of waste received at the facility or generated in a particular area; exempts certain occupiers or types of waste from these contributions; and allows deductions to be claimed in relation to certain types of waste. It also sets out provisions covering:

  • the proximity principle
  • record-keeping requirements, measurement of waste and monitoring for waste facilities
  • tracking of certain waste
  • reporting
  • transportation of waste
  • transportation and management of asbestos waste
  • recycling of consumer packaging
  • classification of waste containing immobilised contaminants
  • miscellaneous topics.

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 (WARR Act) promotes waste avoidance and resource recovery. Among other miscellaneous provisions, the WARR Act sets out provisions for waste strategies and programs, and industry actions for waste reduction.

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Page last updated: 31 July 2015