Hazardous and liquid wastes
Certain wastes have properties that make them hazardous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Some liquid wastes can also be hazardous. Below is a list of specific hazardous and liquid wastes along with links to further information on these wastes. Details on the regulatory requirements that apply to hazardous and liquid waste are also provided.
General information for the community on hazardous and liquid waste is also available within the Sustaining Our Environment Section of this website. For information on disposing of household hazardous waste, see the Household Chemical CleanOut pages.
How does the NSW Government regulate hazardous and liquid wastes?
In some cases, the ‘hazard’ relates to the activity being carried out with the waste (e.g. transport and handling of it), while other wastes are inherently hazardous across a range of activities. In NSW, regulatory requirements take into account the hazard characteristics of a waste relevant to the activity being carried out.
The activities regulated include generation, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous and liquid waste.
Regulation of hazardous and liquid waste
- Licensing for those generating, storing, treating, transporting and wanting to dispose of this waste
- Chemical Control Orders (CCO) – Certain chemicals may have a CCO under the Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act 1985. This is where the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) assesses certain chemicals to ascertain the need to impose specific management restrictions on the chemicals life cycle.
- Waste tracking – Many hazardous and liquid wastes need to be tracked through transport to their final destination.
- Immobilisation approvals – Hazardous waste generally can not be disposed of to landfill. Where recycling or reprocessing is not an option for some waste, an immobilisation approval may be sought from OEH. Waste containing high levels of contaminants which are inherently stable, either naturally or as a result of treatment, may be granted an immobilisation approval to enable landfill disposal.
- Liquid waste levy - The liquid waste levy applies to certain liquid wastes that are required to be tracked in NSW. A levy on liquid waste creates a strong financial incentive for companies to reduce the generation of potentially dangerous liquid wastes, explore cleaner production technologies and increase the recovery of reusable components from liquid waste, such as oil or water.
- In addition to complying with relevant waste legislation, a person undertaking activities with waste that is also classified as a dangerous good
under Commonwealth legislation must also comply with dangerous goods requirements.
Some waste has specialised storage, handling and treatment requirements
1. Radioactive waste
See requirements under the NSW Radiation Control Act
2. Quarantine waste
The Australian Government regulates the handling and treatment of quarantine waste with respect to quarantine-related issues. Requirements under NSW legislation for quarantine waste relate to the non-quarantine characteristics of the waste. For example, if the quarantine waste is also liquid food waste, then NSW requirements relating to liquid food waste apply.
Specific hazardous and liquid wastes
Immobilising hazardous waste for disposal
Environmentally hazardous chemicals
Page last updated: 12 July 2012