Trade waste

Trade waste is a liquid discharge containing trade or factory wastes, chemicals or other impurities from any business, trade or manufacturing premises. Trade waste does not include domestic sewage from a hand wash basin, shower, bath or toilet. It also does not include stormwater, unpolluted water or prohibited substances, such as flammable liquids, oils, greases, acids, dead animal matter, clothing, solids, medical wastes, infectious materials, hair and chemical wastes.

There is a misconception that trade waste is always toxic and is only generated by industrial factories or large organisations. The most common source of trade waste is commercial businesses such as food outlets, laundromats, service stations, vehicle repair workshops, equipment hire centres and animal boarding kennels, to list a few. 

Only waste that can be treated biologically through the Council wastewater treatment process is allowed to be discharged to the sewer system. Most businesses that wish to discharge their trade waste to the sewer system are required to pre-treat the waste to acceptable sewer admission levels prior to discharge.

To control the amount and type of trade waste being discharged, businesses must apply to Council for a Permit to Discharge Trade Waste into the sewerage system.

Application process

  1. Notify Council prior to starting or taking over a business
  2. A Trade Waste Officer inspects the premise
  3. Complete an application form and pay any relevant fees
  4. A Trade Waste Permit is issued

If you are unsure if your business discharges trade waste, please contact our Trade Waste Officers on (07) 4044 8204 or email tradewaste@cairns.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: 06 February 2015