Exemptions from the waste levy

Exemptions from paying the waste levy include exemptions for facilities or for certain waste types received at a scheduled waste disposal facility (i.e. an EPA-licensed landfill).

Facilities exempt from paying the levy

Scheduled waste facilities that only dispose of slags or virgin excavated natural material (or both these types of waste) are exempted from paying the levy.

Wastes exempted from the levy at EPA-licensed landfills

An EPA-licensed landfill can claim an exemption from paying the levy for

  • waste collected as part of a community service or activity
  • waste from a natural disaster or biological outbreak
  • dredging spoil

Waste collected as part of a community service or activity

What is a community service exemption?

Community service exemptions are available to charities and not-for-profit groups performing a community service that involves the collection or receipt of waste. Generally, this exemption applies to wastes which are not usually the responsibility of the organisation.

How do I apply for a community service exemption?

An application form to gain a community service exemption can be found on the EPA website.

Application forms can also be obtained by contacting the Waste Data Unit via email: waste.levydata@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Approved community service exemptions are generally granted for a two-year period after which time the exemption expires and the applicant will need to apply again.

Am I eligible for a community service or activity exemption?

To be eligible for a community service exemption

  • the waste must have been collected or received in accordance with a community service or activity that benefits the NSW community or environment
  • the activity must have been undertaken voluntarily or not for profit and with no commercial interest
  • the applicant must demonstrate that they have explored opportunities to minimise the generation and/or reuse of the waste
  • the waste must be self-hauled by the community service organisation to an EPA-licensed landfill

What waste is not eligible for a community service exemption?

  • waste that is transported for disposal by a third-party contractor
  • waste generated, collected or received that is associated with a commercial interest or fee for service
  • waste generated in the normal course of business.

If successful for an exemption, what records do I need to keep?

Records must be kept for

  • the amount and type of waste disposed under the exemption
  • the EPA-licensed landfill where the waste is disposed
  • any documents (e.g. disposal receipts or dockets) from the EPA-licensed landfill

Exemptions for waste from a natural disaster or biological outbreak

What is a natural disaster or biological outbreak exemption?

An exemption from the waste levy may be claimed for waste collected as a result of a natural disaster or biological outbreak, where the person or group collecting the waste would not ordinarily be responsible for that waste.

A natural disaster is a serious disruption to a community caused by the impact of a naturally occurring event such as a bushfire or severe storm.

A biological outbreak (such as QX disease in oysters or avian flu) may similarly impact on a community, plant or animal population, and requires a significant and coordinated multi-agency response.

How do I apply for a natural disaster exemption?

Waste from a natural disaster is automatically granted an exemption from the levy upon the declaration of a natural disaster by the relevant state government authority. The EPA will provide an exemption to relevant facilities within the local government area where the declaration applies.

How do I apply for a biological outbreak exemption?

To discuss the eligibility of waste material from a biological outbreak for an exemption please contact the EPA Waste Data Unit by emailing waste.levydata@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Dredging spoil

What is a dredging spoil exemption?

Spoil from dredging activities is exempt from payment of the levy. Dredging is defined as the excavation of natural material to provide and/or increase the dimensions of a waterway, or ensure that existing channels, berths or harbour works are maintained according to their design specifications.

How do I claim a dredging spoil exemption?

A claim for a dredging spoil exemption is made by an EPA-licensed landfill through the Waste Contribution Monthly Report.

What record keeping requirements apply to an EPA-licensed landfill?

An EPA-licensed landfill must keep records in accordance with Waste Levy Guideline 2 - Records of the Waste Levy Guidelines (PDF 509KB) and the record-keeping factsheet for all waste received under an exemption.

The onus for proving claims for exemptions rests with the occupier of the EPA-licensed landfill site. Failure to maintain proper records could result in facilities having to pay additional levy amounts or repay previous exemption claims.

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