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New Regulated Waste Classification and Waste-related Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) Regulations

The Regulated Waste Classification and Waste-related Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) regulations are used to identify and appropriately manage the risks associated with various wastes and associated waste management activities.

A review of the existing regulations was undertaken to develop a new, contemporary risk-based approach and ensure they reflect current waste management standards, practices and technologies.

Following the review, the following regulations were made, which amend the existing Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (EP Regulation):

Environmental Protection (Regulated Waste) Amendment Regulation 2018

The Environmental Protection (Regulated Waste) Amendment Regulation 2018 commenced on 4 February 2019. This amendment introduced a new risk-based waste classification framework and regulated waste will now be classified as either:

  • Category 1 regulated waste (highest risk)
  • Category 2 regulated waste (moderate risk); or
  • Not-regulated waste / general waste (lowest risk).

Schedule 7 of the EP Regulation provides a list of regulated wastes and their default category, wastes that are not regulated waste, and categorisation thresholds for solid and liquid tested waste.

Waste generators are responsible for classifying their waste into a risk-based category by either:

  • adopting a default waste category from Part 1 of Schedule 7 of the EP Regulation; or
  • organising sampling and testing of their waste by an appropriately qualified person to demonstrate an appropriate risk-based category in accordance with section 64A of the EP Regulation.

The EP Regulation incorporating the amendments can be accessed from the Queensland legislation website.

Environmental Protection (Waste ERA Framework) Amendment Regulation 2018

The Environmental Protection (Waste ERA Framework) Amendment Regulation 2018 introduces a new schedule of waste-related ERAs. These are:

  • ERA 53 Organic material processing
  • ERA 54 Mechanical waste reprocessing
  • ERA 55 Other waste reprocessing or treatment
  • ERA 57 Regulated waste transport
  • ERA 60 Waste disposal
  • ERA 61 Thermal waste reprocessing and treatment
  • ERA 62 Resource recovery and transfer facility operation.

Stage 1 changes

The waste ERA framework is scheduled to commence in 2 phases:

Stage 1 commenced on 23 November 2018 and includes:

  • new ERA 60 (waste disposal) regulations for facilities that:
    • dispose of inert-waste (other than clean earth)
    • no longer accept waste for the purpose of disposal and that are undergoing rehabilitation
  • new ERA53 (organic material processing) regulations that includes:
    • new licensing requirements for facilities that operate an anaerobic digester
    • exemptions to exclude certain on-farm composting activities from requiring an ERA
  • new regulations that will require sites that store greater than 4 tonnes or 500 equivalent passenger units of end-of-life (waste) tyres to obtain an environmental authority.

If you operate ERA 60 and amend your environmental authority to change the threshold for ERA 60 or add a lot on plan, the changes could affect your annual fees.

The information sheet Waste ERA Framework – Stage 1 (PDF, 107K) (ESR/2018/4568) will assist you to determine whether the stage 1 changes impact your environmental authority.

Stage 2 changes

Stage 2 commences on 1 July 2019 and introduces the remaining waste-related ERAs.

If you operate a current waste-related ERA in the table below, your current waste-related ERA will be transitioning to one or more of the corresponding new waste-related ERAs from 1 July 2019. The new waste related ERAs have a number of thresholds based on the type and quantity of waste processed. The details of your operation will determine which corresponding new waste-related ERA your existing waste related ERAs become.

The information sheet Overview of the new waste ERA framework – Stage 2 (PDF, 199K) (ESR/2019/4606) will assist you to determine if your environmental authority is affected.

The information sheet Category 1 and 2 regulated waste (PDF, 92K) lists the regulated waste that has a default category 1 and category 2 to assist in determining the thresholds for the new waste ERAs.

You can find information about each new waste-related ERA by clicking on the new ERA number in the table below.

The department will be contacting all operators of environmental authorities with waste-related ERAs requesting information to determine the equivalent new waste-related ERA for their environmental authority.

Current waste-related ERA New waste-releated ERA
ERA 20 – Metal recovery ERA 54 Mechanical waste reprocessing (ESR/2019/4607) (PDF, 129K) 
ERA 62 Resource recovery and transfer facility operation (ESR/2019/4611) (PDF, 100K) 
ERA 33 – Crushing, milling, grinding and screening (only waste related activities) ERA 54 Mechanical waste reprocessing (ESR/2019/4607) (PDF, 129K) 
ERA 52 – Battery recycling ERA 62 Resource recovery and transfer facility operation (ESR/2019/4611) (PDF, 100K) 
ERA 55 – Regulated waste recycling or reprocessing ERA 54 Mechanical waste reprocessing (ESR/2019/4607) (PDF, 129K) 
ERA 55 Other waste reprocessing or treatment (ESR/2019/4608) (PDF, 95K) 
ERA 61 Thermal waste reprocessing and treatment (ESR/2018/4610) (PDF, 97K)
ERA 62 Resource recovery and transfer facility operation (ESR/2019/4611) (PDF, 100K) 
ERA 56 – Regulated waste storage ERA 62 Resource recovery and transfer facility operation (ESR/2019/4611) (PDF, 100K)
ERA 57 – Regulated waste transport ERA 57 – Regulated waste transport (ESR/2019/4609) (PDF, 57K) 
ERA 58 – Regulated waste treatment ERA 54 Mechanical waste reprocessing (ESR/2019/4607) (PDF, 129K) 
ERA 55 Other waste reprocessing or treatment (ESR/2019/4608) (PDF, 95K) 

ERA 59 – Tyre recycling

ERA 54 Mechanical waste reprocessing (ESR/2019/4607) – shredding tyres (PDF, 129K)
ERA 62 Resource recovery and transfer facility operation (ESR/2019/4611) –baling tyres (PDF, 100K)

ERA 60 – Waste disposal ERA 60 – Waste disposal (ESR/2019/4748) (PDF, 104K)

ERA 61 – Waste incineration and thermal treatment

ERA 55 Other waste reprocessing or treatment (ESR/2019/4608) (PDF, 95K)
ERA 61 Thermal waste reprocessing and treatment (ESR/2018/4610) (PDF, 97K)

ERA 62 – Waste transfer station operation ERA 54 Mechanical waste reprocessing (ESR/2019/4607) (PDF, 129K) 
ERA 62 Resource recovery and transfer facility operation (ESR/2019/4611) (PDF, 100K) 

Further information

A detailed summary of the consultation process and the new regulations is provided in the following Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (PDF, 2.9M).

For further information email .

Last updated
12 April 2019