Business, industry and planning guidance

Help with landfill levies

EPA updated Calculating the landfill levy and recycling rebates (publication 332) in November 2016 to address queries that have been raised by licenced landfill operators. The publication aims to provide clearer definitions of levied waste types and make clear what records are required to support recycling rebate claims.

Q&A on landfill levies + Expand all Collapse all

  • Which landfills are not subject to the landfill levy?

    The following premises are not subject to the landfill levy:

    • privately owned landfills that only receive wastes that consist of substances that were owned by the owner of the landfill before they became wastes
    • municipal council owned landfills that only receive the municipal wastes of an area with a population of less than 5,000.
  • Who should use a weighbridge? All Schedule C landfill licence holders are required to use a weighbridge to weigh waste and other materials entering the premises. Other landfill licence holders who have a weighbridge should also use it to calculate landfill levy payments.
  • What methods can a landfill licence holder with a weighbridge use to calculate the landfill levy?

    There are two methods used to calculate the levy, licence holders should use the method that best suits their facility. It is important to note that only one method can be used when calculating the levy.

    Method 1: Weighbridge use for all waste loads

    The weighbridge is used to record the type and amount for all wastes (including cover material) that enters the site to calculate all levy payments.

    Transfer stations using this method may be eligible for a recycling rebate for wastes that are levied and then removed from the licensed premises for recycling.

    Method 2: Use of weighbridge for residual waste

    This method is suitable for licence holders with large number of small vehicles depositing small quantities of waste to an onsite transfer station or recycling facility. The levy is calculated after separating recyclable materials; the residual waste is then weighed on a weighbridge prior to disposal to the landfill cell. The licence holder is required to calculate the gross weight of vehicles entering the transfer station and keep record of those transactions.
  • What methods can a landfill licence holder without a weighbridge use to calculate the landfill levy?

    The Waste Management Policy (Siting, Design and Management of Landfills) require all Schedule C landfill licence holders to have a weighbridge. For non-Schedule C landfills where a weighbridge is not in operation, EPA has approved two methods: 

    Method 1: Volume-as-delivered method

    After recording the volume of waste received (as cubic metres) the volumes must be converted to weight using conversion factors detailed in the volume-to-mass conversion tool.

    Method 2: ‘Divide by four’ method

    A quarterly estimate can be made by dividing the previous year’s gross volume deposited (including cover material volume) by four. The resultant estimated volume is then multiplied by a density of 1.1 t/m3 unless a different, site-specific density has been established. This method is only to be used where the landfill was operational for the whole of the previous financial year. In addition, the licence holder must provide accurate information to EPA that verifies the relative proportions of the different waste received.

  • When can a recycling rebate be rejected by EPA?

    When a licence holder cannot demonstrate that waste has been recycled, reprocessed, recovered or purified in accordance with section 50SA or section 50SAA of the Environment Protection Act 1970, a rebate on the landfill levy may be rejected.

  • How do I claim the levy rebate for recycling of prescribed industrial waste?

    In certain instances, licence holders that are licensed to receive prescribed industrial waste may receive a levy rebate for recycling of prescribed industrial waste under section 50SAA of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

    Please refer to Calculating the landfill levy and recycling rebates (publication 332), for the requirements that must be satisfied when making a rebate claim.

  • Can levy rebate be claimed for recycling of municipal and industrial waste?

    Where a licence holder can demonstrate that waste has been recycled, reprocessed, recovered or purified in accordance with section 50SA of the Environment Protection Act 1970, a rebate on the landfill levy may be claimed. This rebate is only claimable in annual landfill levy statements.

    To make a municipal or industrial waste recycling rebate claim, several requirements (outlined in section 6.1 of publication 332) must be satisfied.
  • What documents should I retain?

    Documents used for preparation of your annual performance statement (APS) and landfill levy must be retained at the premises for seven years from the date of each statement. This includes documents and monitoring records used to assess compliance with licence conditions relevant to landfill levies, and records, documents and receipts relating to any materials entering or exiting the landfill site, including the application and rate of the landfill levy. These documents must be stored so that they are legible, and are readily available if required for an audit. Any discrepancies in materials received or recycled at the premises must be accounted for.

  • What rate should be applied to cover material?

    All cover materials that are sourced from onsite excavations are not subject to the levy and should not be included in calculations.

    Cover material brought onto the licensed premise from external sources is subject to levy. For soils classified as ‘fill material’ that are used as cover, the municipal levy rate applies. For other materials that are not ‘fill material’ that are used as cover, the appropriate levy rate for that type of waste should apply. Licence holders must obtain written approval from EPA to use materials that are not ‘fill material’ as cover material.

  • What type of materials are not subject to landfill levies?

    Materials brought onto site which are used in the construction of the "containment cell for waste" (that is, cell liners, bund walls, EPA approved capping, or gas collection or leachate management systems) are not subject to the landfill levy. In addition, waste material received that does not require processing and is directly suitable for the construction of roads outside the licensed disposal area, is not subject to the landfill levy.

  • What is a haul road management plan

    A haul road is one that runs inside the licensed waste disposal area of a landfill. Materials used for the construction of haul roads are not subject to landfill levies of the licence holder prepares a haul road construction and management plan before commencing construction, if conditions in Calculating the landfill levy and recycling rebates (publication 332), Appendix 2 are met. A suitably qualified independent person needs to certify the management plan. 

  • What do I do with waste from a natural disaster?

    A natural disaster is a serious disruption to a community caused by the impact of a naturally occurring event that requires a significant and coordinated multi-agency response, such as a major bushfire or flood.  Waste collected after a natural disaster may be eligible for an exemption of payment of the landfill levy. To gain exemption from the landfill levy, licence holders must apply to EPA for section 30A emergency discharge approval. Such exemptions usually require ministerial approval.

  • What is a section 30A approval?

    Under section 30A of the Environment Protection Act 1970, licence and non-licence holders can apply for an overriding provision that permits commercial or industrial premises to temporarily discharge, emit or deposit waste and store, treat, handle or dispose of waste on or from other premise that would be otherwise be an offence under the Act.

  • When should licence holders apply for section 30A approval?

    The application needs to fit one of the following criteria:

    • Meeting a temporary emergency
    • Providing for the temporary relief of a public nuisance or community hardship
    • Enabling the commissioning, repair, decommissioning or dismantling of any item of industrial plant or fuel burning equipment.

    Once issued, the licence holder needs to comply with conditions within the 30A approval to ensure the discharge or handling of waste is managed appropriately and does not result in any long-term impacts to the environment.

  • How do I apply for a section 30A approval?

    Contact EPA on 1300 372 842(1300 EPA VIC) or at  as soon as you are aware that you may require an approval. An EPA officer will then notify you of what actions to take, which will include submitting a written proposal as required by the Environment Protection Act 1970. An application form is available on EPA’s website.

  • What happens if levy calculations are incorrect or levy is not paid?

    Where the Authority determines that a levy payment for the tonnage of waste deposited onto land at the premises was incorrect or has not been paid by the due date, the following may apply:

    • suspension or revocation of licence
    • recovery of levy through the courts
    • application of penalty interest.
  • How do I contact EPA if I require further assistance or more information?

    Please contact Landfill Levy team on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or at  for further assistance.


Page last updated on 14 Nov 2017