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End of waste (EOW) framework

The end of waste (EOW) framework under Chapter 8 of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 promotes resource recovery opportunities and aims to transform the perception of waste from being seen as waste to being valued as a resource.  This framework replaced the beneficial use approval (BUA) framework on 8 November 2016. The EOW framework consists of EOW codes and approvals:

  • EOW codes relate to any registered resource producers for a code.
  • EOW approvals are considered on a trial basis for reusing waste as resources for which an EOW code has not been developed for the waste.

A waste can be approved as a resource if the department considers that it meets specified quality criteria for specific use. It is the waste producer's responsibility to ensure that the resource meets the specified quality criteria prior to supplying it to the user for approved use. If a waste is approved as a resource under the EOW framework, it is no longer considered a waste under s. 13 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994. If the resource is not used in accordance with the EOW code or approval, it is deemed waste.

Operating under an EOW code or EOW approval can have the following benefits:

  • Less regulation for the reuse of waste, e.g., approvals relating to regulated waste are not required.
  • Volumes of waste disposed to landfill are reduced, reducing the cost associated with disposal.
  • Costs from using raw materials may be reduced.
  • Reuse of the waste may have a monetary value.

Under the transitional provisions in the legislation, resources approved under an existing general BUA or a specific BUA issued prior to 8 November 2016 can continue to be used as a resource for the uses specified under those approvals until the end of the approval period for the BUA (the period specified in the relevant Notice).

For more details, refer to the relevant sections below and the End of Waste (EOW) Guideline -ESR/2016/3323 (PDF, 515K).

End of waste codes

EOW codes are outcome-focused. They specify outcomes that need to be achieved in order for a waste to be deemed a resource. A waste producer may supply a waste as a resource under an EOW code provided they have registered with the department and can comply with conditions of the code. The form for registering under an EOW code will be made available on this site when EOW codes are in place.

Waste demonstrated to have benefits through sustainable use and negligible environmental risks will be considered for an EOW code. Where necessary, conditions will also be imposed by the department on users of a resource. It will be the producer’s responsibility to ensure that the resource supplied to users is of a specified quality and complies with conditions of the code. Similarly, it will be the user’s responsibility to ensure that the resource is used for the relevant use in accordance with any conditions imposed on the users. Where conditions are not imposed on the users, the users are still obliged to exercise their general environmental duty to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent and/or to minimise the likelihood of environmental harm being caused (see s.319 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994).  

The department calls for submissions annually for the development of EOW codes. Submissions received are considered prior to deciding whether or not to develop an EOW code. It is at the department’s discretion what EOW codes are to be developed. Where the department considers that a waste has properties that make it comparable to a product and has negligible environmental risks, it may develop an EOW code for the waste. A technical panel may be established by the department for the development of an EOW code. Once a draft EOW code has been developed, it will go through a public consultation process to allow all stakeholders the opportunity to provide comment on the proposed EOW code.

The annual submissions for 2016 opened on 16 December 2016 and closed on 31 March 2017. The next call out for submissions for EOW codes will be made in the fourth quarter of 2017. The relevant form will be made available on this website when submissions are open.

Expression of Interest to become a member of Technical Advisory Panel(s) for the development of draft End of Waste Codes

Chapter 8 of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 enables the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (the department) to make an end of waste code, which stipulates when a specific waste ceases to be a waste and becomes a resource for a specific purpose. The department may establish a Technical Advisory Panel to prepare a draft end of waste code or to advise the department about a draft end of waste code, or an amendment to an end of waste code.

The department is creating a list of experts who could be a part of a Technical Advisory Panel. To this end, the department invites interested persons to express their interest in being included on a list of experts. As the need arises, the department may invite experts to be a part of a Technical Advisory Panel to prepare (or provide advice about) a draft end of waste code. Please be advised that the department is under no obligation to invite persons on the list to participate on a Technical Advisory Panel. 

In order to be considered for the list of experts, interested persons will need to:

a)  nominate a waste material(s), waste type(s), or other specific area of expertise in which they are qualified and experienced. Other specific areas of expertise may include, for example, chemicals, environmental assessment and expertise associated with the potential end use of a waste,

b)  be well established in the nominated area of expertise evidenced through qualifications, experience, or professional recognition,

c)  be a member of a relevant professional organisation(s) where applicable,

d)  be willing to provide inputs intermittently over a given period (approximately 6 months) on a volunteer basis,

e)  provide a resume demonstrating the general requirements above and provide two professional referees, and

f)  provide a cover letter (maximum 2 pages) demonstrating the skills relevant to the area of expertise.

If you are interested in being included on the list of experts, please send an email to with TAP EOI - ‘waste type’ as the subject heading demonstrating the general requirements above.

This is an open invitation and expressions of interest (EOI) are welcome at any time. The department will review EOIs as they are received and advise each applicant of the outcome. If you have any questions regarding the process to establish a technical advisory panel or the role of the panel in the development or amendment of an end of waste code, please send your enquiries to .

Transitional arrangements for existing general beneficial use approvals 

The following general BUAs have been issued under the previous BUA framework and apply until their expiry.

General beneficial use approval Date of expiry
General Beneficial Use Approval - Irrigation of Associated Water (including coal seam gas water)—ESR/2016/2418 (PDF, 502K) 24 April 2019
General Beneficial Use Approval - Coal combustion products—ESR/2015/1631 (PDF, 78K) 31 December 2018
General Beneficial Use Approval for Foundry Sand—ESR/2016/2232 (PDF, 83K) 31 December 2018
General beneficial Use Approval for Drilling Mud—ESR/2016/2231 (PDF, 85K) 31 December 2018
General Beneficial Use Approval - Associated water (including coal seam gas water)—ESR/2016/2419 (PDF, 304K) 16 May 2019
General Approval of a Resource for Beneficial Use - Sugar Mill By-Products—ESR/2016/2233 (PDF, 40K) 31 December 2018
General Beneficial Use Approval – Biosolids – ESR/2016/3273 (PDF, 129K) 31 December 2018

The form Notification of use of a resource—ESR/2015/1638 (formerly EM1315) (Word, 106K)* is to be submitted by operators wishing to operate under an existing general BUA. It is a requirement under the general BUAs that operators notify the department of operating under the approval prior to starting or within a stated period under the approval. 

General BUAs will end if an EOW code is made for the same resource to which the general BUA applies prior to the expiry of the BUA. A producer who is registered under a general BUA is taken to be a registered resource producer under a new EOW code.

End of waste approvals

EOW approvals are primarily intended to be used when there is a potential market / demand for a resource and an EOW code for that resource has not been developed. EOW approvals are considered on a trial basis for reusing waste as resources and to apply to a single holder for the purpose of trial. The EOW approval will be issued only for the length of time required to undertake the trial, with only one extension to the approval period being granted if required.

Based on the findings of the trial (e.g. benefits, sustainability, environmental impacts and environmental best practice) the holder of the EOW approval may wish to make a submission to the department for the development of an EOW code for the resource when the department calls out for submissions.

Applicants are encouraged to participate in a pre-design/pre-lodgement meeting with the department to help identify whether an application for an EOW approval should be submitted, and if so, what information to submit with the application, identify any issues relevant to a specific project, and to receive guidance on regulatory expectations.  These meetings are free of charge and may assist in reducing assessment timeframes. To request a pre-design/pre-lodgement meeting, please complete and return the form Application for a pre-design/pre-lodgement meeting—ESR/2015/1664 (formerly EM1125) (Word, 115K)*.

All applications must include the Part A and Part B forms below. In addition, applications for a new EOW approval or an amendment to an existing EOW approval will require a report by a suitably qualified person as per the format below to support the application:

Transitional arrangements for existing specific BUAs

Existing specific BUAs can continue to be used for the uses specified under the approval until the end of the approval period for the BUA. 

Review of decision

If you have been affected by a decision in relation to an EOW code or an EOW approval, you may have review rights. Sections 174-179 of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 detail the internal review process. An internal review must be requested prior to pursuing a review from other external parties. If you are eligible to request an internal review and you would like to have the decision reviewed, please complete and return the form Application for an internal review—ESR/2015/1633 (formerly EM1339) (Word, 112K)*.

Enquiries

Permit and Licence Management
Ph: 1300 130 372 (Option 4)
Fax: (07) 3330 5875
Email:

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Last updated
19 September 2017