Waste levy for scheduled waste facilities

This information applies to waste other than trackable liquid waste and coal washery rejects.

What does the waste levy do?

One of the NSW Government’s key priority actions is to increase recycling to limit the need for new landfills, reduce landfill disposal and turn waste into valuable resources. The Government has a range of policies in place to increase recycling and divert valuable resources from landfill back into the economy. The key economic instrument for greater waste avoidance and resource recovery is the waste levy.

Who is liable to pay the waste levy?

Scheduled waste facilities captured under Section 88 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) including

  • Scheduled waste disposal facilities (i.e. EPA-licensed landfills) which are located in the regulated area or receive waste from the regulated area
  • Scheduled waste facilities that are not scheduled waste disposal facilities (e.g. EPA-licensed waste processing, resource recovery and waste storage facilities) which are located inside the regulated area or receive waste from the regulated area

Exempted facilities

The following scheduled waste facilities are exempt from waste levy liability

  • Landfills that only dispose of slags or virgin excavated natural material (or both types of waste)
  • Facilities only required to be licensed for the storage, treatment, processing or sorting of clinical and related waste, liquid waste (excluding trackable liquid waste), hazardous or restricted solid waste
  • Facilities operating solely as ceramic works, composting, container reconditioning, contaminated soil treatment, or paper or pulp production facilities

What is the regulated area?

The regulated area includes councils within the metropolitan levy area (MLA) and the regional levy area (RLA).

MLA councils RLA councils
Bayside Maitland Ballina
Blacktown Mosman Bellingen
Burwood Newcastle Blue Mountains
Camden Northern Beaches Byron
Campbelltown North Sydney Clarence Valley
Canada Bay Parramatta Coffs Harbour
Canterbury-Bankstown Penrith Dungog
Central Coast Port Stephens Kempsey
Cessnock Randwick Kyogle
Cumberland Ryde Lismore
Fairfield Shellharbour Mid-Coast
Georges River Shoalhaven Muswellbrook
Hawkesbury Strathfield Nambucca
Hornsby Sutherland Port Macquarie-Hastings
Hunter's Hill Sydney Richmond Valley
Inner West The Hills Singleton
Kiama Waverley Tweed
Ku-ring-gai Willoughby Upper Hunter
Lake Macquarie Wingecarribee Wollondilly
Lane Cove Wollongong  
Liverpool Woollahra  

What is the waste levy paid on?

Scheduled waste disposal facilities

The waste levy is paid on:

  • all waste received at an EPA-licensed landfill, if the landfill is located in the regulated area
  • waste received from the regulated area, if the landfill is located outside the regulated area.

Further information on exempted waste is available on the Exemptions for the waste levy webpage.

Scheduled waste facilities that are not scheduled waste disposal facilities

Under 10B of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (Waste Regulation), EPA-licenced waste facilities that are not waste disposal facilities (such as waste processing, resource recovery and waste storage facilities), incur a waste levy liability when

  • waste is received on site, for facilities which are located in the regulated area
  • waste originating from the regulated area is received on site, for facilities which are located outside the regulated area.

However, the liability is extinguished once the waste is sent offsite for lawful recycling, reuse or disposal. The liability becomes payable when:

  • waste is stockpiled at the facility for more than 12 months, unless it has been processed at the facility to a standard required by a resource recovery order
  • waste is stockpiled above lawful limits
  • waste transported from the facility is unlawfully disposed of.

Further information about the waste levy liability for scheduled waste facilities that are not waste disposal facilities is available in the How is a waste levy liability calculated for resource recovery facilities? factsheet (PDF 307KB).

How do the MLA or RLA rates apply?

Waste source Waste received in Applicable levy rate
MLA MLA MLA
MLA RLA MLA
MLA rest of NSW MLA
RLA MLA MLA
RLA RLA RLA
RLA Rest of NSW RLA
rest of NSW MLA MLA
rest of NSW RLA RLA

Where the facility has kept inadequate records, the EPA will assess and calculate the levy liability.

When is payment made?

Payment must be received by the EPA on the 26th day of the month, following the month in which reporting occurred. For example, if the reporting period is July 2017, the July report would be due on 26 August 2017 and the levy payment due on 26 September 2017.

How is payment made?

To ensure timely payment of the waste levy, it is recommended that it be paid by electronic funds transfer to the EPA. Where this is not possible, a cheque must be received by the EPA within the prescribed period.

What else needs to be done?

Under Clause 22 of the Waste Regulation, scheduled waste facilities required to pay contributions under Section 88 of the Act must, within 26 days after the end of each month, submit to the EPA Waste Contribution Monthly Report (WCMR) for each reporting period.

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