Resource recovery framework

Resource recovery orders (orders) and resource recovery exemptions (exemptions) allow some wastes to be beneficially and safely re-used independent of the usual NSW laws that control applying waste to land, using waste as a fuel, or using waste in connection with a process of thermal treatment.

Orders and exemptions are only appropriate if the re-use

  • is genuine, rather than a means of waste disposal
  • is beneficial or fit-for-purpose, and
  • will not cause harm to human health or the environment

Orders and exemptions are two separate documents that the EPA issues together, as a package. A resource recovery waste means a waste that has a resource recovery order and exemption.

Resource recovery orders – how resource recovery waste is generated and processed

Generators and processors must meet all the conditions of an order to supply a resource recovery waste to a consumer. Orders may include

  • material specifications
  • record-keeping requirements, and
  • reporting

Orders are made under clause 93 of the 2014 Waste Regulation.

Resource recovery exemptions – how consumers re-use resource recovery waste

Exemptions contain conditions such as reporting and record keeping requirements which consumers must meet to re-use a resource recovery waste. Exemptions list the regulatory requirements each consumer is exempt from. These may include

  • holding an environment protection licence, and
  • depending on your location, paying the waste levy for disposal

Exemptions are made under clauses 91 and 92 of the 2014 Waste Regulation.

Use a current order and exemption

You can use a current order and exemption for resource recovery wastes without EPA approval but, all conditions of an order and exemption must be met for the supply and re-use to be lawful. They can be viewed on our current orders and exemptions page.

Apply for an order and exemption

You can apply to the EPA for an order and exemption if there is no current order and exemption for your planned re-use of a waste. More information can be found on our apply for an order and exemption page.

Development consent and permission

Before you use an order and exemption, you must have

  • development consent, if necessary, and
  • permission from the owner and occupier of the place where the resource recovery waste will be re-used

Keep records

You must keep records required by an order or exemption for six years. This also applies to records held under the former Resource Recovery Exemption framework.

More information

For more information, e-mail or contact Environment Line on 131 555.

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