Waste and recycling reporting requirements FAQ

Frequently asked questions and answers about annual waste and recycling reporting requirements under Part 3A of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008.
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Liable persons need to read and abide by the relevant CEO notice, which includes the information you are required to report and record and the procedures to follow.

Waste Data Online is the approved form liable persons are required to use to lodge annual returns under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 (WARR Regulations). Visit the Waste Data Online page for guidance on using the system.

The questions and answers below are categorised by topic. Subcategories are included, if relevant, for general questions and questions specific to the type of liable person.

Determining liability - General

How do we know whether our facility/local government is considered to be a ‘liable person’?

All local governments and regional councils are liable persons.

Recycling and reprocessing facilities are liable if:

  • they are the occupiers of a premises, whether or not the person holds a licence in respect of the premises
  • reportable waste, being solid waste as defined under Part 3A of the WARR Regulations, is treated, processed or sorted at the premises for the purposes of reprocessing, recycling or energy recovery
  • as a result of that treatment, processing or sorting, at least 1,000 tonnes of reprocessed, recycled or recovered material is produced on-site that is ready for use as a production input or final product, or is exported from the state.

Landfills are considered to be liable if they are outside of the metropolitan region, and receive more than 20,000 tonnes of waste per annum. This does not include waste produced and disposed of on-site.

The ‘metropolitan region’ is defined in section 4(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2005 as the region described in Schedule 3 of that Act.

To help determine if your facility is a liable person, see the relevant fact sheets or contact us at waste.data@dwer.wa.gov.au.

Will we have to submit multiple returns if our facility is considered to have multiple liabilities?

Yes. (This would apply, for example, to a local government that also runs a non-metropolitan landfill that receives more than 20,000 tonnes of waste per annum.) You will need to determine whether your local government or facility must report information under more than one category of liable person.

Waste Data Online allows you to submit an annual return for each liability type.

How do we inform you that our facility is a ‘liable person’?

Liable persons that have not previously informed us of their liability can use Waste Data Online’s registration form, also referred to as the ‘Notification of liability’. This simultaneously registers you for the system and notifies our CEO of your liability.

Our Waste Data Online page includes ‘quick guides’ on how to register and guidance for first-time users following registration

If you have already informed us of your facility’s liability, you can log in to Waste Data Online without completing the notification of liability form each year. Your completed notification of liability form will be displayed before you start a new annual return. By confirming these details are correct, you are notifying us of your liability. If you need to change any of these details, you will need to contact waste.data@dwer.wa.gov.au.

My facility’s licence includes reporting requirements. Do I still need to lodge an annual return?

The annual reporting requirements under Part 3A the WARR Regulations are distinct from any reporting requirements within your licence issued under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

If your facility is considered liable under the WARR Regulations, you will need to lodge an annual return and submit any reporting requirements specified in your licence, which may include annual waste acceptance data.

Determining liability - Liable recyclers

Does recycled material stockpiled or otherwise used on-site count towards the 1,000-tonne threshold?

Yes. If the stockpiled material is reprocessed in that specific financial year, it will count towards the threshold, regardless of whether the material leaves the site.

Does waste from primary industries recycled ‘in situ’ count towards the threshold?

Waste generated from primary industries that is recycled in situ does not count towards the 1,000-tonne threshold. For example, you are not required to report in-situ forestry mulching.

Are charitable recyclers required to report for items received, processed and sold for reuse?

Charitable recyclers do not need to report activities such as the sorting and sale of unwanted items by charitable recyclers and op shops under the WARR Regulations. However, if a charitable recycler is carrying out other activities that meet the definition of a liable recycler, they will be required to report.

Determining liability - Liable non-metropolitan landfills

Does the threshold of 20,000 tonnes include waste generated on the premises?

No. Only waste received at a premises needs to be considered. Waste generated at the premises and subsequently disposed of at the same premises is not included in the reporting threshold of 20,000 tonnes.

Does the threshold include waste that is subject to the waste levy?

Yes. All solid waste received at the premises is included in the reporting threshold of 20,000 tonnes.

Does the threshold apply to individual non-metropolitan landfills?

Yes. The threshold is applied to individual non-metropolitan landfills, not to the total amount of waste received by multiple non-metropolitan landfills operated by the same person. 

For example, a regional city operates two category 89 landfills and one licensed category 64 landfill. The amount of waste received at each landfill in one financial year was: 4,000 tonnes; 2,000 tonnes and 16,000 tonnes. Across the three landfills, a total of 22,000 tonnes of waste was received. The regional city is not a liable person under the WARR Regulations because no individual landfill received more than the threshold of 20,000 tonnes of waste in that financial year.

Reportable waste - General

Do we need to report liquid waste?

No. Reportable waste refers to waste that is a solid matter only.

Do we need to report controlled waste?

You are required to report only solid controlled waste, such as tyres, asbestos and contaminated soils.

Reportable waste - Liable recyclers

Are primary industries required to report waste that has been recycled 'in situ'?

There is no intent to capture waste from primary industries that is recycled in situ. For example, you do not need to report in-situ forestry mulching or agricultural waste, such as waste generated at poultry farms, pig farms and feedlots, if it is recycled on the same premises that it was generated.

You must report waste generated from primary industries that is removed from the premises and subsequently recycled. For example, manure from a poultry farm collected and transported to a premises with a category 67A licence and subsequently composted, must be reported by the licensee of the category 67A premises if that licensee is considered to be a ‘liable person’.

Do organics recyclers need to report material that is sold to other organics recyclers as a production input?

A recycler that processes and sells organic material to another organics recycler as a production input will be liable to report this information, even if further reprocessing is required. See our fact sheet for additional guidance for organics recyclers.

Do items sorted and sold for re-use need to be reported?

No. Items sold for re-use do not need to be reported. For example, items sold by op shops are excluded. Other examples of excluded items are used goods sold through online market places such as Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, or ‘gifted’ goods through ‘Buy Nothing’ Facebook groups.

Reportable waste - Liable non-metropolitan landfills

How should waste subject to an exemption from the waste levy be reported?

Waste exempted from payment of the waste levy should be reported as disposed of to landfill.

Does mining waste disposed of in liable non-metropolitan landfills need to be reported?

All solid wastes received at a liable non-metropolitan landfill premises must be reported. Waste generated at a premises and subsequently disposed of at the same premises does not need to be reported and is not included towards the 20,000-tonne threshold.

Solid waste from mining activities, which may include overburden and tailings, received at liable non-metropolitan landfills, should be recorded under the material category ‘Other’ (for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories). Comments should specify the waste as ‘mining waste’. The waste stream of such types of waste should be recorded as commercial and industrial waste (C&I).

Are the approved procedures in the WARR Regulations consistent with the waste levy approved manner?

If your landfill is receiving reportable waste subject to the waste levy, you must calculate your levy liability and keep records in a manner consistent with the requirements under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Regulations 2008 and WARR Regulations.

Stockpile measurement

Why is data about stockpiled waste required?

Stockpiled waste can have a significant impact on measuring progress against the targets in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 (waste strategy).

For the purposes of measuring against the targets, ‘waste generated’ is equal to the sum of ‘waste recovered’ and ‘waste disposed’. Sometimes stockpiled waste is neither recovered nor disposed, meaning it does not count as waste generated. This can distort our measurements against the targets in the waste strategy.

Measuring the amount of stockpiled waste allows us to better quantify the actual quantity of waste generated in a financial year.

Our stockpiled waste was not measured at 1 July. How can we report the amount stockpiled at our premises at the start of the financial year?

Stockpiles should be measured as close to the beginning of the financial year as practical.

Do we need to use a licensed surveyor to measure the amount of waste stockpiled at our premises?

No. The approved procedures in the CEO notice include several methods to measure stockpiled waste without using a licensed surveyor.

Special provisions for local governments with small populations

These are provided in the approved procedures in the CEO notice for local governments.

Why are there special provisions for non-metropolitan local governments with low populations?

Smaller local governments outside the metropolitan region may not have the resources or capability to report in accordance with the approved procedures. The special provisions for local government areas with populations of less than 5,000 and less than 1,500 provide for reduced record keeping and reporting requirements. They are provided to help smaller local governments meet reporting requirements under the WARR Regulations.

Our shire has a population of less than 1,500. Will we have to report anything?

If a shire has a population of less than 1,500 and can't report the quantities of waste it collects, recycles and disposes of to landfill, it can access the special reporting provisions. Under these provisions, the local government would only be required to report information about the types of waste and recycling services it provided to its residents. We would then estimate the tonnes of waste collected, recycled and disposed of based on the types of services provided and the local government’s population or number of households using the default values in the approved procedure attached to the CEO notice for local governments.

Can we use our records to estimate the population of our shire?

The population will be determined as the 'estimated resident population' (ERP) using the latest release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics catalogue 3218.0 – regional population at 30 June of the year the return is due.

No other methods can be used to determine the population of a local government for the purposes of reporting under the WARR Regulations.

Weighing waste

We do not have a weighbridge. How can we report the weight of waste received/collected/recycled/disposed?

The approved processes for government/landfill/recycling premises in the CEO notices include several methods to estimate the weight of waste without a weighbridge.

If you are unable to provide tonnages, Waste Data Online allows recyclers and landfills to report cubic metres. We will use the default conversion factors contained in the approved procedures attached to each CEO notice to estimate the weight of the waste reported.