Most activities generate waste, some of which is hazardous. The EPA manages the transport and disposal of hazardous waste, and works with industry to find sustainable solutions to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.
Waste: NSW overview
The EPA provides leadership to ensure NSW has a fair, modern and well-regulated waste industry. The EPA works with communities, government and business to reduce the impact of waste on the environment, to protect our air, waterways, land and health of the community.
Reducing your household waste
Reducing waste involves changing our everyday behaviour. It means thinking about our needs and the whole life cycle of a product before we buy something. Reducing waste can save money, conserve resources, save energy and water and reduce pollution.
Local council operations
The EPA provides waste and recycling program and infrastructure funding for local councils, and support for groups of councils to collaborate across regions. Additional assistance includes advice, innovative tools, training and capacity building, handbooks, and guidelines.
The NSW waste regulatory framework establishes a level playing field for operators of waste and recycling facilities. The framework includes the requirement to hold an environment protection licence if certain thresholds are met, and the requirement to record and report to the EPA the quantities and types of waste moving through the facility.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) requires certain licensed waste facilities in NSW to pay a contribution for each tonne of waste received at the facility. Referred to as the 'waste levy', the contribution aims to reduce the amount of waste being landfilled and promote recycling and resource recovery.
Managing industrial waste
Certain wastes have properties that make them hazardous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. As well as the general regulatory requirements relating to waste, additional regulatory requirements may apply. The EPA enforces these rules to protect our air, waterways, land and the health of the community for the future.
To comply with the waste legislation, those who generate waste are responsible for classifying their waste into one of six waste classes.
Waste being transported must be adequately covered to ensure it does not fall or spill onto the road and create dust and litter, or damage other vehicles. The EPA can impose fines and penalties on waste transporters who do not cover their loads.
Tracking and transporting hazardous waste
Tracking the transport and disposal of high-risk or hazardous waste minimises potential harm to the environment and human health. Waste tracking helps stamp out illegal dumping, prevents waste going to the wrong facility and stops unfair competition.
Tracking waste from the Metropolitan Levy Area
Waste generated in the Metropolitan Levy Area must be tracked when transported out of NSW.
Managing waste in emergencies and disasters
Before communities can rebuild after disasters they may first need to safely dispose of waste and debris from storms, bushfires, flood, building fires and other major incidents.