Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Transporting waste

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

Clause 70 of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 requires waste transported by a vehicle to be covered during its transportation.

  • 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.

Ensure waste transported by a vehicle is covered or risk a $750 fine.

Transport waste safely

  • 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.
  • Uncovered loads of waste can generate dust that causes breathing and vision problems for other road users such as cyclists, motorbike riders and pedestrians.

If waste is illegally dumped and harms the environment, the maximum penalty is $5 million or seven years' jail.

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 (PDF 173KB) 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.

Metropolitan levy area (MLA) councils

Ashfield   Gosford   Maitland   Shellharbour
Auburn   Hawkesbury   Manly   Shoalhaven
Bankstown   Holroyd   Marrickville   Strathfield
Baulkham Hills   Hornsby   Mosman   Sutherland
Blacktown   Hunters Hill   Newcastle   Sydney
Botany Bay   Hurstville   North Sydney   Warringah
Burwood   Kiama   Parramatta   Waverley
Camden   Kogarah   Penrith   Wingecarribee
Campbelltown   Ku-ring-gai   Pittwater   Willoughby
Canada Bay   Lake Macquarie   Port Stephens   Wollongong
Canterbury   Lane Cove   Randwick   Woollahra
Cessnock   Leichhardt   Rockdale   Wyong
Fairfield   Liverpool   Ryde    

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).

More information

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Page last updated: 12 August 2015