Transporting waste

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.

General information for waste transporters

What does ‘waste’ include?

Waste is not just rubbish and unwanted material, but also includes

  • excavated material such as dirt, sandstone and soil
  • construction, building and demolition waste, such as asphalt, bricks, concrete, plasterboard, timber and vegetation
  • contaminated soil
  • special requirements now apply to the transport of waste tyres or asbestos.

Cover your load and transport waste safely

  • Uncovered loads of waste can spill onto the road and create dust and litter. Dust, soil and litter that escape from uncovered vehicles can wash into stormwater drains and pollute waterways.
  • Heavy objects, such as bricks, rocks and concrete from vehicles that are uncovered, can dislodge and cause an accident or damage other vehicles on the road.

Avoiding escape of waste during transport

Clause 70 of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (Waste Regulation 2014) therefore requires that

  • waste that is transported by a motor vehicle or trailer, must be transported in a manner that avoids the waste spilling, leaking or otherwise escaping
  • waste must be covered during transportation unless the waste consists solely of waste tyres or scrap metal
  • the motor vehicle or trailer used to transport the waste must be constructed and maintained so as to avoid the waste spilling, leaking or otherwise escaping from the motor vehicle or trailer.

Who needs to make sure this is done?

The transporter of the waste, the owner of any motor vehicle used to transport waste and the owner of any trailer used to transport waste.

Only one person will be liable, and there are some exceptions to the offences.

Note: The above is a summary only and should not be solely relied upon.

Ensure waste transported by a vehicle is covered or risk a $750 (individual) or $1500 (corporation) fine.

Transportation of asbestos waste

Clause 78 of the Waste Regulation 2014 requires that

  • any part of any vehicle in which a person transports asbestos waste is covered, and leak-proof during transportation
  • bonded asbestos material is securely packaged during transportation
  • friable asbestos material is kept in a sealed container during transportation
  • asbestos contaminated soils are wetted down.

Who needs to make sure this is done?

A person who transports asbestos waste.

Ensure asbestos waste is transported in the above manner or risk a $750 fine (individual) or $1500 (corporation) fine.

Transport waste to a lawful place

Section 143 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 requires waste to be transported to a place that can lawfully accept it.

The owner of the waste and the transporter are each guilty of an offence when waste is transported to a place that cannot lawfully be used as a waste facility.

Uncovered waste loads impact directly on other road users and the environment. Illegally dumped waste also harms the environment: only transport waste to a lawful place.

Waste tracking and licensing

An environment protection licence is required to transport higher risk wastes (referred to as ‘controlled’ or ‘trackable waste). Waste tracking requirements also apply to these wastes.

All waste generated in the Metropolitan Levy Area (MLA) transported out of NSW must be tracked using the EPA's online waste tracking system, regardless of its risk profile.

Waste tyres and asbestos waste must be tracked in certain circumstances using WasteLocate.

Avoiding fines and penalties

  • Know what types of waste are carried on your vehicle.
  • Check the council development consent and environment protection licence for the waste facility to make sure it can lawfully accept the waste.
  • Provide the waste facility with details of the waste (classification, origin and quantity)
  • Ensure any vehicle used for the transport of waste is constructed and maintained to prevent spillage of waste.
  • Check the containers used to transport waste are secured safely on the vehicle.
  • Ensure that any waste that is transported by a vehicle is covered during its journey (unless the waste consists solely of tyres and/or scrap metal).
  • Keep accurate written records such as:
    • details of the waste (classification, name and address of its origin and quantity)
    • copies of waste dockets/receipts for the waste facility (date, time of delivery, name and address of the facility, its ABN, contact person).
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