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Processing or storing waste in NSW? Don’t get caught short – August 1st deadline!

Tyre StockpileImportant changes were recently introduced by the Protection of Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014. These have considerably reduced the threshold levels for the holding of an Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) for certain waste activities e.g. processing, recovery and storage of waste.

The new requirements mean that some existing waste businesses that were not previously required to hold a licence to operate at their site/s must now hold a licence by 1st August 2015.

All EPLs must be issued by the EPA by 1st August, so it is important that you act quickly to determine whether your operations now require a licence. If so, the licence application should be submitted without delay.

Importantly, if your site’s existing development consent does not permit the activities to be included in the licence, the development consent must be amended before an EPL application can even be lodged.

The changes for each activity are summarised below. Note that the new thresholds now vary depending on where the activities take place – inside or outside the regulated (levy-paying) area.

Activity Type of Waste New threshold for holding of EPL INSIDE REGULATED AREA New threshold for holding of EPL OUTSIDE REGULATED AREA Old threshold for holding of EPL (BOTH AREAS)
Resource Recovery and/or Waste Processing General solid waste, e.g. paper/ cardboard, plastic, rubber, glass, metals, timber,construction & demolition waste and municipal solid waste 6,000 tonnes per annum 12,000 tonnes per annum 30,000 tonnes per annum
Tyres 5,000 tonnes per annum (no change) 5,000 tonnes per annum (no change) 5,000 tonnes per annum
Waste Storage (being waste stored on site at any one time) General solid waste e.g. paper/cardboard, plastic, rubber, glass, metals, timber, construction & demolition waste and municipal solid waste 1,000 tonnes 2,500 tonnes (no change) 2,500 tonnes
Tyres 5 tonnes (or 500 tyres) 5 tonnes (or 500 tyres) 50 tonnes

More information can be found in the NSW EPA fact sheet.

As a specialist waste and recycling consultancy, MRA is experienced with the licence application process and is skilled in preparing comprehensive applications that meet all of the EPA requirements. We know that obtaining a license and maintaining an excellent relationship with the EPA is important to your business, and we are available to assist you through this process. We can also advise and act swiftly on any development consent issues on your behalf.

The NSW EPA’s risk-based licensing system commences on 1 July 2015. You can read more about risk based licencing here.

A list of our services in licensing and approvals is provided below. If we can be of any assistance in this matter, or if you are unsure whether you require an EPL, please do not hesitate to contact our licensing and approvals specialist, Sheelagh Laguna on 0413 957 952 or

MRA licensing services:

  • Assessment of licensing requirements
  • Development Consent review
  • Development Applications (including SEE or EIS)
  • Environmental Protection Licence applications, including supporting documentation
  • Pollution Incident Response Management Plans
  • Facilitation of financial assurance
  • Site visits with EPA personnel
  • Full EPA liaison and licensing follow-up

in Licencing


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