Liquid trade waste

Liquid Trade Waste means any liquid, and any substances contained in it, which is produced by an industrial or commercial activity. 

Due to its concentration levels, liquid trade waste may require pre-treatment prior to being discharged into the sewerage system in order to protect public health, worker safety, the environment and the city's sewerage system.

Examples of some industries that generate liquid trade waste are laundries, restaurants, butchers, food processors, metal finishers, service stations and chemical manufacturers.

Hand basins, toilets, showers and baths at the workplace are considered domestic waste and do not require special approval or treatment.

Apply for liquid trade waste approval

Step 1.When is approval required?

If you are starting a new business or buying a business where there is no existing approval, you will need to apply for approval.

A new approval is required, even where there is an existing approval, where:

  • The applicant is the property owner and sells the property
  • The applicant is the business owner and sells the business
  • There is a change of business activity
  • The approval conditions have changed
  • The approval has expired

Step 2.Who should apply?

We prefer the person who has responsibility for the pre-treatment equipment or control over the day-to-day operations of the business to complete the application. We will issue the approval to the applicant. 

Both the property owner and the liquid trade waste generator need to sign the application. 

Both the property owner and liquid trade waste generator need to retain a copy of the approval so that all parties are aware of their responsibilities.

If more than one liquid trade waste generator exists on a property, each generator needs to submit a separate Liquid Trade Waste Application Form.

Step 3.Call us for a pre-application consultation

A liquid trade waste generator is responsible for pre-treating their waste to a level acceptable for discharge to the sewer. 

Pre-treatment is the process which removes contaminant from the wastewater (eg: grease and oil) prior to disposing to the sewerage system.

The pre-treatment process and installation of equipment helps reduce the concentration levels of substances to levels that our sewerage system can effectively treat.

Prescribed pre-treatment equipment includes devices such as dry basket arrestors or sink strainers, which are used in businesses such as hairdressing salons, and grease arrestors that are installed in businesses where the activity produces oily and fatty wastes, such as restaurants or takeaway food outlets.

To assist applicants, we can provide information on the type of pre-treatment needed for various liquid trade waste generating activities. 

We recommend that you review the Trade Waste Policy and our current fees and charges, then contact the City of Coffs Harbour to arrange a pre-application consultation with our Liquid Trade Waste Officers.  

Step 4.Submit your application

To avoid delays in processing the application, make sure you attach all requested information. 

Liquid Trade Waste Application Form - Class A-B(PDF, 76KB)

Liquid Trade Waste Application Form - Class C(PDF, 82KB)

New Owner Consent Form(DOCX, 34KB)

For a Classification S Application form or further information contact us on 02) 6648 4000

What happens next?

We will:

  • assess your application
  • seek concurrence with the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment, if required
  • finalise the determination of classifications, charge categories and approval conditions

 We will then issue the applicant with a formal approval.

Failure to comply

Businesses that receive a liquid trade waste approval from City of Coffs Harbour must comply with certain conditions and have inspections on the premises. Some businesses may also need to have wastewater samples analysed as part of their approval conditions.

If a business fails to comply with any approval conditions, including pollutant concentration limits as set out in our Trade Waste Policy, then a non-compliance or excess mass charge will apply - see our current  fees and charges

The correct management of Liquid Trade Waste and proper maintenance will result in a compliant discharge, a cleaner environment and can save you money.

The following housekeeping tips may be helpful in training staff and achieving a better quality liquid trade waste discharge:  

  • Never put cooking oil or fats down the drain. This will cause your grease arrestor pump outs to rise significantly which in turn will cost you more. It can also clog pipes, overflow sewers and cause odours.
  • Use trays to catch fat, grease and oil.  
  • Always store used cooking oil and fat in secure containers and have it removed and disposed of in an approved manner by a licenced contractor.  
  • Maintain access to grease arrestors and pre-treatment equipment at all times.  
  • Do not store oil drums and equipment on top of grease arrestors.
  • Use minimal grease and oil for cooking. 
  • Scrape utensils and dishes in the garbage bin or compost before washing.  
  • Install screens and basket arrestors in sinks and floor drains. 
  • Use a broom and mop for washing floors, not the hose.
  • Use high pressure hoses or hoses with trigger nozzles for washing vehicles and equipment.
  • Use water sparingly, efficiently, recycle whenever possible.
  • Use water-efficient appliances.
  • Don’t leave taps or hoses running. Generally, a fully open tap will supply approximately 0.3 Litres/second (or 1000 Litres/hour).

These substances are prohibited from being discharged into all sewers in NSW. For businesses, these prohibited substances are listed in the NSW Liquid Trade Waste Regulation Guidelines and/or the Liquid Trade Waste Approval for each business.

  • Organochlorine weedicides, fungicides, pesticides, herbicides and substances of a similar nature and/or wastes arising from the preparation of these substances
  • Organophosphorous pesticides and/waste arising from the preparation of these substances
  • Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • Any substances liable to produce noxious or poisonous vapours in the sewerage system
  • Organic solvents and mineral oil*
  • Any flammable or explosive substances*
  • Discharges from 'Bulk Fuel Depots'
  • Discharges from chemicals and/or oil storage areas
  • Natural or synthetic resins, plastic monomers, synthetic adhesives, rubber and plastic emulsions
  • Roof, rain, surface, seepage or ground water, unless specifically permitted (clause 137A of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021)
  • Solid matter*
  • Disposable products including wet wipes, cleaning wipes, colostomy bags, cat litter and any other products marketed as flushable
  • Any substance assessed as not suitable to be discharged into the sewerage system
  • Waste liquids that contain pollutants at concentrations which inhibit the sewage treatment process - refer Australian Sewage Quality Management Guidelines (June, 2012 - WSAA)
  • Any other substances listed in Schedule 5 of Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulations 2009 or any other relevant legislation.

* Above the approved limit