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Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Claiming deductions for waste used for an approved operational purpose

Application of the levy to substances received at landfill

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (Waste Regulation), any substance that is ‘reasonably capable of being applied to land’ is deemed to be waste when it is received at a scheduled waste facility to which section 88 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 applies.

The occupier of such a facility is therefore required to pay the waste levy on any substance received at the facility that is reasonably capable of being applied to land or intended to be used as fuel.

Substances not considered capable of being applied to land

Substances that are not considered capable of being applied to land are limited to:

  • operational equipment and consumables such as earth-moving machinery, fleet vehicles, fuel, operational plant machinery or materials used for the assembly of weighbridges, amenity blocks or machinery sheds
  • new office equipment and suppliessuch as computers, office furniture, stationery and canteen supplies that are to be used on-site.

These substances do not attract the waste and environment levy.

All other substances received at the facility would be considered capable of being applied to land, whether or not the substance is placed in an active cell or elsewhere on the site.

When can an operational purpose deduction be claimed?

Deductions from the waste levy may be claimed by the occupier of a scheduled waste disposal facility (i.e. an EPA-licensed landfill) on wastes and other materials that are used at the facility for an operational purpose. 

The occupier of a scheduled waste facility required to pay the waste levy may claim a deduction for any waste received at the facility that will be used on-site for an operational purpose.

Eligible operational purposes

In accordance with clause 15 of the Waste Regulation, the EPA will consider approval of certain types of waste for use at the facility for operational purposes such as:

  • roads or other construction works
  • leachate collection systems
  • landfill lining systems
  • stormwater management systems
  • landfill gas collection systems
  • groundwater management systems
  • drainage systems
  • alternative daily cover
  • rehabilitation of sand mines
  • final capping works

The waste types eligible to be claimed for each of these operational purposes are listed in clause 15 of the (Waste Regulation).

When a deduction cannot be claimed

An operational purpose deduction cannot be claimed for any waste:

  • that has already been exempted from the levy
  • that was received more than 24 months before the date on which the deduction is claimed
  • on which the levy was not required to be paid.

Where deductions are disallowed

The EPA may disallow an operational purpose deduction if it does not meet the requirements of the Waste Regulation or is not consistent with the terms of the approval. Where this occurs and a deduction has already been made, the waste facility will be required to repay the deduction.

Record keeping for operational purpose deductions

Occupiers must ensure that the receipt and use of all waste and other substances covered by an operational purpose deduction is carried out in accordance with the Waste Regulation and any other legal requirements.

The onus for proving claims for operational purpose deductions rests with the occupier of the facility. Failure to maintain proper records could result in facilities having to pay additional levy amounts or repay deductions.

While all wastes and other materials received at a facility must be recorded, not all these other materials need to be reported in a facility’s waste contribution monthly report (WCMR).

To simplify reporting arrangements, the following substances do not have to be reported on a facility’s WCMR as waste received:

  • new concrete or asphalt used for road or other construction
  • quarried materials
  • plastic sheeting, tarpaulins and spray-on foams used as alternate daily cover, geonets, geomembranes, geotextiles (including GCLs), electrical equipment, machinery or piping used for leachate collection or gas collection (only if the use of the material for these purposes is authorised under the facility’s licence).

A WCMR must be completed for all other substances received at the facility that are reasonably capable of being applied to land. For these materials, the WCMR must be accompanied by any evidence required by the EPA to support a deduction claim, including the deduction identification number.

Where a material is eligible for a deduction but is applied to land at the facility without the appropriate authority under the facility’s licence, that waste must be recorded in the facility’s WCMR and the levy paid. A deduction may be claimed only if and when the licence has been varied to authorise the land application of this waste.

How to apply for approval of an operational purpose deduction

The occupier of a scheduled waste facility can apply to the EPA for approval of an operational purpose deduction before or after the waste has been used for the operational purpose.

The application must contain the information required under clause 15 of the Waste Regulation. The Application for operational purpose deductions form (PDF 102KB) has all the information needed and applicants are requested to follow this form when claiming a deduction.

All applications must be sent to:

Senior Manager Waste Compliance
Environment Protection Authority
PO Box A290
SYDNEY SOUTH NSW 1232

or email to waste.operations@epa.nsw.gov.au

Applying for a retrospective operational purpose deduction after waste is used

Where an occupier fails to apply to the EPA for pre-approval of an operational purpose deduction and has already paid the levy on waste intended for use as an eligible operational purpose, the occupier may apply to the EPA for retrospective approval using the Application for operational purpose deductions form (PDF 102KB)

A retrospective deduction must be made at the levy rate that applied when the waste was received at the facility. Where this application is successful, a rebate for the approved quantity of waste at the applicable levy rate will be granted to the occupier.

Determination of operational purpose applications

The EPA-licensed landfills will be advised in writing of the EPA’s decision regarding an application for an operational purpose deduction.

Where an application has been approved, the EPA will provide the occupier with a certificate detailing the terms of the approval, including:

  • the type of operational purpose allowed under the approval
  • the quantity of waste allowed to be used
  • the period in which the waste must be used
  • any conditions of use.

Each operational purpose will also be allocated a deduction identification number.

Once the EPA has approved an application, an EPA-licensed landfill can claim a deduction for the amount and within the period specified by the EPA. Typically, an approval will be valid for a 12-month period.

The levy does not need to be paid on waste received at an EPA-licensed landfill that will be used in accordance with a pre-approved operational purpose.

For more information on claiming a deduction for an operational purpose, phone the EPA on 131 555.

Page last updated: 14 January 2015