Liquid trade waste

Before discharging waste into our sewer system, businesses must seek approval, install and maintain appropriate equipment to treat liquid waste. This helps us protect the health of our community and environment. 

Some examples of businesses that must apply for liquid trade waste approval are cafes, canteens, butchers and other food processors, daycare centres, laundromats, hairdressers, metal finishers, service stations, and chemical manufacturers. 

If you are lodging a development application (DA)

You will need to meet trade waste conditions to get a construction certificate. We encourage you to call a trade waste officer to discuss the requirements before lodging your DA. 

Purchasing or starting a new business without a DA

You must seek approval using the form below. We generally grant approval for a period of 5 years at which point you must reapply.

Approval is a two-stage process.  You must receive our written approval before discharging any liquid trade waste to the sewer system. 

Before starting your application, please read the City's Liquid Trade Waste Policy.

Application for approval

Step 1.Submit the application form

Complete and submit the application form below and pay the fee specified in the form. You can find application fees and ongoing discharge costs in our fees and charges

If you do not own the property, you will need to include approval from the owner (there is a link to the form in the application below). We bill the owner for all ongoing trade waste and sewer charges. They may seek to recoup costs.

 Liquid Trade Waste Application Form


A trade waste officer will contact you to discuss our requirements for approval. They will also classify your business according to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's (DPIE) Liquid Trade Waste Guidelines. 

Step 2.Submit the approval form

We will provide you with your classification and a link to the appropriate application form. You will need pay the approval fee and detail your business activities, liquid wastes, the trade waste pre-treatment devices.

We will use this information to assess whether your business meets the requirements. DPIE may need to confirm concurrence for classification B, C or S businesses. 

If approved, we will send you and the property owner a letter outlining terms and conditions specific to your business. 

Failure to comply

Additional charges may apply if your business does not hold a current approval, or you fail to meet the conditions of your existing approval.

Substances prohibited

These substances are prohibited from being discharged to sewer within 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 wastes 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.
  • Rain, roof, 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 - WASA).
  • 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.


Tips for managing trade waste

Correctly managing trade waste and maintaining equipment means a cleaner environment, will save you money and meet your discharge requirements.

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. 
  • 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 licensed contractor.
  • Maintain access 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 hses 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 an hour).