Patons Lane Resource Recovery Centre
is an asset wholly owned by the
Bingo Industries Limited Group

Waste Categories

For licensing, disposal and management purposes, waste is classified into six categories by the Protection of the Environment Operations (POEO) Act 1997 and the EPA’s Waste Classification Guidelines. They are as follows:

  1. General Solid Waste (putrescible)
  2. General Solid Waste (non-putrescible)
  3. Restricted Solid Waste
  4. Special Waste
  5. Hazardous Waste
  6. Liquid Waste

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) regulate the types of waste that landfills can receive with the following:

  • General solid waste and restricted solid waste can be disposed of in landfills licensed to receive those waste types.
  • Restricted solid waste contains higher (up to four times) levels of contaminants than general solid waste; therefore, restricted solid waste landfills must be managed with more stringent environmental controls than those for general solid waste landfills.
  • Special wastes are clinical and related waste, asbestos waste and waste tyres. These wastes can be disposed of at a landfill under licence, provided that additional handling and operational measures are implemented.
  • Liquid and untreated hazardous wastes are not permitted to be landfilled in NSW. However, some hazardous wastes can be treated to remove or immobilise contaminants. This may enable the waste to be reclassified as restricted or general solid waste, and only then allowed to be disposed of in a landfill.[1]

Putrescible vs. non-putrescible

Putrescible waste is waste containing organic matter that is liable to putrefaction (rapid degradation by micro­organisms). Examples are materials containing food, offal and animals.[2]

NSW Landfills are commonly characterised as either “putrescible” or “non-putrescible” – according to whether or not they are licensed to accept waste, which includes food. This is a critical factor given that virtually all household waste (MSW) collected by local councils contains foodwaste.

Landfills designed to receive putrescible waste require extensive landfill-gas (LFG) collection and utilisation systems to be installed to cater for the inevitable generation of methane-rich gas. They also require to have installed leachate collection and treatment systems, which can deal with leachates with high biological oxygen demand. The siting and operation of the landfill must also minimise the potential for generation of odour to impact on the local community.

C&I waste also commonly contains foodwaste, albeit lower percentages than within MSW. Although recent EPA C&I waste stream audits show the average composition of C&I waste to contain approximately 10% foodwaste, this fraction is largely made up of waste from food manufacturers, restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets, supermarkets and shopping centre foodcourts.

A number of waste transporters undertake separate wet-waste and dry-waste C&I collection services in order to minimise the inclusion of foodwaste and therefore avoid paying putrescible disposal prices for non-putrescible waste.

Patons Lane RRC will only accept General Solid Waste non-putrescible (GSW: NP).

General Solid Waste non-putrescible (GSW: NP)

This category covers the entire range of waste types that can be received at Patons Lane RRC. The waste is defined not by its source but rather by the waste materials, which are included and excluded within the category description.

The POEO Act 1997 defines GSW (NP):

General Solid Waste (non-putrescible)[3] means waste (other than special waste, hazardous waste, restricted solid waste, general solid waste (putrescible) or liquid waste) that includes any of the following:

  • glass, plastic, rubber, plasterboard, ceramics, bricks, concrete or metal,
  • paper or cardboard,
  • household waste from municipal clean-up that does not contain food waste,
  • waste collected by or on behalf of local councils from street sweeping,
  • grit, sediment, litter and gross pollutants collected in, and removed from, stormwater treatment devices or stormwater management systems, that has been dewatered so that it does not contain free liquids,
  • grit and screenings from potable water and water reticulation plants that has been dewatered so that it does not contain free liquids,
  • garden waste,
  • wood waste,
  • waste contaminated with lead (including lead paint waste) from residential premises or educational or child care institutions,
  • containers, having previously contained dangerous goods, from which residues have been removed by washing or vacuuming,
  • drained oil filters (mechanically crushed), rags and oil absorbent materials that only contain non-volatile petroleumhydrocarbons and do not contain free liquids,
  • drained motor oil containers that do not contain free liquids,
  • non-putrescible vegetative waste from agriculture, silviculture or horticulture,
  • building cavity dust waste removed from residential premises, or educational or child care institutions, being waste that is packaged securely to prevent dust emissions and direct contact,
  • synthetic fibre waste (from materials such as fibreglass, polyesters and other plastics) being waste that is packaged securely to prevent dust emissions, but excluding asbestos waste,
  • virgin excavated natural material,
  • building and demolition waste (as defined below),
  • asphalt waste (including asphalt resulting from road construction and waterproofing works),
  • biosolids categorised as unrestricted use, or as restricted use 1, 2 or 3, in accordance with the criteria set out in the Biosolids Guidelines,
  • cured concrete waste from a batch plant,
  • fully cured and set thermosetting polymers and fibre reinforcing resins,
  • fully cured and dried residues of resins, glues, paints, coatings and inks,
  • anything that is classified as general solid waste (non-putrescible) pursuant to an EPA Gazettal notice,
  • anything that is classified as general solid waste (non-putrescible) pursuant to the Waste Classification Guidelines,
  • any mixture of anything referred to in paragraphs (a)-(x).


Building and Demolition Waste[4] means unsegregated material (other than material containing asbestos waste or liquid waste) that results from:

  • the demolition, erection, construction, refurbishment or alteration of buildings other than:
  • chemical works, or
  • mineral processing works, or
  • container reconditioning works, or
  • waste treatment facilities, or
  • the construction, replacement, repair or alteration of infrastructure development such as roads, tunnels, sewage, water, electricity, telecommunications and airports, and includes materials such as:
  • bricks, concrete, paper, plastics, glass and metal, and
  • timber, including unsegregated timber, that may contain timber treated with chemicals such as copper chrome arsenate (CCA), high temperature creosote (HTC), pigmented emulsified creosote (PEC) and light organic solvent preservative (LOSP), but does not include excavated soil (for example, soil excavated to level off a site prior to construction or to enable foundations to be laid or infrastructure to be constructed).

Sources of waste

General Solid Waste (non-putrescible) C&I can be sourced from commercial waste collections of all types of commercial and industrial premises. Foodwaste is typically a minor (10%) but critical component of the total C&I waste stream, however the main generators of foodwaste are well known and it is quite feasible to target loads of C&I waste which includes little or no foodwaste.

Most MSW can only be disposed of at facilities that are licensed to receive General Solid Waste (putrescible), however, household cleanup waste (hard-waste) contains no foodwaste and is classified as General Solid Waste (non-putrescible). All 41 SMA Councils conduct either “on-call” or “scheduled” Household Clean-up Waste collections. The decision on disposal destination is controlled by the Council – even for those collections, which are undertaken by a commercial contractor.

General Solid Waste (non-putrescible) C&D is generated by building, demolition, excavation and construction activity. The sources of the C&D waste are individual sites ranging from very minor domestic construction work to major infrastructure development. Relatively small volumes of waste might be delivered to a recovery/disposal facility via box trailer or ute while larger volumes would be more likely to be transported via large skips or semi-trailers.

Typically, large volumes of C&D waste material, which are of consistent composition, are tested for a range of pollutants prior to disposal, in order to confirm their acceptability for delivery to a disposal or reprocessing facility.

What can be landfilled?

All materials that are included in the description General Solid Waste (non-putrescible) are allowed to be landfilled. The limitation on total annual landfill tonnage, the overall limitation of the site capacity and the financial incentive to divert waste from landfill in order to avoid Waste Levy liability mean that only waste, which cannot be effectively separated for recycling, will be landfilled. This may change from time to time depending on the changing market price for various recovered materials.


[1] Draft Environmental Guidelines Solid Waste Landfills 2nd Edition: NSW EPA 2015

[2] Environment Protection Licences – Glossary:

[3] Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 Schedule 1 Part 3 – Definitions Division 1 – Waste classifications. 49. Definitions of waste classifications

[4] Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 Schedule 1 Part 3 – Definitions Division 1 – Waste classifications. 49. Definitions of waste classifications


© Patons Lane RRC 2018