Claiming deductions for waste used for an approved operational purpose

Application of the levy to substances received at a scheduled waste facility

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (Waste Regulation), any substance that is ‘reasonably capable of being applied to land’ is deemed to be waste when it is received at a scheduled waste facility to which section 88 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 applies.

The occupier of such a facility is therefore required to pay the waste levy on any substance received at the facility that is reasonably capable of being applied to land.

Substances not considered capable of being applied to land

Substances that are not considered capable of being applied to land are limited to

  • plant or vehicle - operational equipment and consumables such as earth-moving machinery, fleet vehicles, fuel, operational plant machinery or materials used for the assembly of weighbridges, amenity blocks or machinery sheds
  • office supplies - new office equipment and supplies such as computers, office furniture, stationery and canteen supplies that are to be used on-site

These substances do not attract the waste levy.

All other substances received at the facility would be considered capable of being applied to land, whether or not the substance is placed in an active landfill cell or elsewhere on the site.

When can an operational purpose deduction be claimed?

Deductions from the waste levy may be claimed by the occupier of a scheduled waste facility on wastes and other materials that are used at the facility for an operational purpose. 

Eligible operational purposes

In accordance with clause 15 of the Waste Regulation, the EPA will consider approval of certain types of waste for use at the facility for operational purposes such as

  • roads or other construction works
  • leachate collection systems
  • landfill lining systems
  • stormwater management systems
  • landfill gas collection systems
  • groundwater management systems
  • drainage systems
  • alternative daily cover
  • rehabilitation of sand mines
  • final capping works at landfills

The waste types eligible to be claimed for each of these operational purposes are listed in clause 15 of the Waste Regulation.

When a deduction cannot be claimed

An operational purpose deduction cannot be claimed for any waste

  • that has already been exempted from the levy
  • that was received more than 24 months before the date on which the deduction is claimed (for scheduled waste disposal facilities)
  • on which the levy was not required to be paid

Where deductions are disallowed

The EPA may disallow an operational purpose deduction if it does not meet the requirements of the Waste Regulation or is not consistent with the terms of the approval. Where this occurs and a deduction has already been made, the waste facility will be required to repay the deduction.

Record keeping for operational purpose deductions

Occupiers must ensure that the receipt and use of all waste and other materials covered by an operational purpose deduction is carried out in accordance with the Waste Regulation and any other legal requirements.

The onus for proving claims for operational purpose deductions rests with the occupier of the facility. Failure to maintain proper records could result in facilities having to pay additional levy amounts or repay deductions.

While all wastes and other materials covered by an operational purpose deduction must be recorded when received at a facility, some of these other materials do not need to be reported in a facility’s waste contribution monthly report (WCMR).

To simplify reporting arrangements, the following materials do not have to be reported on a facility’s WCMR as waste received

  • new concrete or asphalt used for road or other construction works
  • quarried materials used for road or other construction works

  • plastic sheeting, tarpaulins and spray-on foams used as alternate daily cover

  • geomembranes, geotextiles and piping used for stormwater management systems and landfill lining systems

  • geonets, geotextiles and piping used for leachate collection systems

  • piping used for landfill gas collection systems and groundwater management systems

A WCMR must be completed for all other materials received at the facility that are reasonably capable of being applied to land. For these materials, the WCMR must be accompanied by any evidence required by the EPA to support a deduction claim, including the deduction identification number.

When a material is eligible for a deduction but is applied to land at the facility without the appropriate authority under the facility’s licence, that waste must be recorded in the facility’s WCMR and the levy paid. Where applicable, a deduction may be claimed only when the licence authorise the land application of this waste.

How to apply for approval of an operational purpose deduction

The occupier of a scheduled waste facility can apply to the EPA for approval of an operational purpose deduction before or after the waste has been used for the operational purpose.

The application must contain the information required under clause 15 of the Waste Regulation. The Application for operational purpose deductions form (PDF 102KB) has all the information needed and applicants are requested to follow this form when claiming a deduction.

All applications must be sent to

Senior Manager Waste Compliance
Environment Protection Authority
PO Box A290
SYDNEY SOUTH NSW 1232

or emailed to waste.operations@epa.nsw.gov.au

Applying for a retrospective operational purpose deduction after waste is used

When an occupier fails to apply to the EPA for pre-approval of an operational purpose deduction the occupier may apply to the EPA for retrospective approval using the Application for operational purpose deductions form (PDF 102KB)

If an application is successful, a retrospective deduction will be granted to the occupier at the levy rate that applied when the waste was received at the facility.

Determination of operational purpose applications

The occupier will be advised in writing of the EPA’s decision regarding an application for an operational purpose deduction.

Where an application has been approved, the EPA will provide the occupier with a certificate detailing the terms of the approval, including

  • the type of operational purpose allowed under the approval
  • the quantity of waste allowed to be used
  • the period in which the waste must be used
  • any conditions of use

Each operational purpose will also be allocated a deduction identification number.

Once the EPA has approved an application, the scheduled waste facility can claim a deduction for the amount and within the period specified by the EPA. Typically, an approval will be valid for a 12-month period.

For scheduled waste disposal facilities, the levy does not need to be paid on waste received that will be used in accordance with a pre-approved operational purpose.

For more information on claiming a deduction for an operational purpose, phone the EPA on 131 555.

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