Exemptions from the waste levy

Exemptions from the waste levy are available for certain facilities, and for certain types of waste received at an EPA-licensed landfill.

Facilities exempt from paying the levy

Waste facilities exempt from paying the waste levy include

  • landfills that only dispose of slags or virgin excavated natural material
  • 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
  • facilities licensed for metallurgical activities (listed in Cl.26 of schedule 1 of the POEO Act)
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 mostly made up of whale carcasses

Waste collected as part of a community service or activity

Charities and not-for-profit groups can apply for a Community Service Exemption (CSE) from the waste levy for waste collected or received through community services or activities. Exemptions last for two years, then a new application must be lodged.

Waste resulting from a natural disaster or biological outbreak

Waste collected as a result of a natural disaster or biological outbreak, by people or groups collecting the waste not ordinarily responsible for that waste can be exempt from the waste levy.

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

A biological outbreak (such as QX disease in oysters or avian flu) may also impact on a community, plant or animal population.

To apply for a natural disaster exemption

Waste from a natural disaster becomes eligible for 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 once council makes a formal request to the EPA. A formal request can be made by emailing waste.levydata@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Dredging spoil

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.

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

Whale carcasses

To apply for an exemption, land managers (or local Councils) must email waste.levydata@epa.nsw.gov.au with details of the whale carcass disposal required and will be issued with an exemption certificate. An exemption code will be allocated to the nominated landfill.


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