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Trade Waste

Trade waste is water-borne waste from business, trade or manufacturing premises which is discharged to the sewerage system. Trade waste may have significantly increased organic strength compared to that of domestic sewage and may also contain other substances such as high levels of fats and grease, heavy metals, organic solvents and chlorinated organic substances.

Council’s objectives in controlling the discharge of trade waste to the sewerage system are to:

  • Protect and preserve the health and safety of personnel and the public;
  • Protect the environment;
  • Protect sewerage infrastructure;
  • Protect sewerage treatment processes; and
  • Facilitate re-use and recycling of treated effluent.

Council applies trade waste charges to recover costs associated with the management of the service, together with the transport and treatment of the discharge.

Changes to trade waste charging and waste tracking:

From 1 July 2018, Council will be introducing the following changes:

  • Trade waste volumetric charges will move from annual to quarterly billing in order to align with other water and sewerage charges. This initiative will result in smaller, more manageable amounts for customers rather than a large annual bill; and
  • An electronic waste tracking system will be implemented to enable Council to automatically monitor compliance with the required service frequency of all pre-treatment devices.

Council has prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions which are outlined below.  Should you have any further enquiries, please contact our Trade Waste team on (07) 3412 5666.

Why does Council charge for trade waste?

Council provides a sewerage system primarily for the transport and treatment of domestic sewage.  Trade waste discharged by businesses into the sewerage system may contain significantly increased pollutants which may present a potential risk to personnel, the public, the environment, the infrastructure or treatment processes.

Council controls the discharge of trade waste to minimise these risks.  Activities include:

  • Undertaking detailed assessments of all trade waste connections on a property.
  • Ensuring suitable pre-treatment devices are installed and regularly serviced.
  • Conducting audits and site inspections to ensure compliance is maintained.
  • Performing catchment monitoring studies to determine the impacts on infrastructure.
  • Providing advice, education and awareness to trade waste generators.

Fixed service charges (base charges) are applied to each trade waste connection to recover the costs associated with providing these services.

In addition, trade waste discharges generate an additional load on the sewerage system.  Volumetric charges are applied to recover related transport and treatment costs.

What are base charges?

A base charge is applied for each approved trade waste connection located on a property to recover the costs associated with Council managing the trade waste service. The base charge applies whilst the connection remains operational, irrespective of whether or not the premises are occupied or vacant.

How much are base charges?

Council has established the following categories to reflect the level of pollutants contained in the trade waste.  These categories are used to determine the applicable base charges.

  • Category 1 – Low Strength = Annual base charge $416.16 (or $104.04 per quarter)
  • Category 2 – Medium Strength = Annual base charge $710.60 (or $177.65 per quarter)
  • Category 3 – High Strength = Annual base charge $710.60 (or $177.65 per quarter)

The trade waste charges are determined by Council each financial year as part of the adopted annual budget.  The charging framework and the applicable rates are available on Council’s website.

How often are base charges applied?

Base charges are included on the quarterly rates notice issued to property owners.

Do base charges apply for vacant tenancies?

Yes.  Base charges apply whilst the connection remains operational, irrespective of whether or not the premises are occupied or vacant.

Can base charges be removed?

The only way the base charge will be removed is if there is a physical disconnection implemented, thereby preventing the discharge of trade waste to the sewerage system. This may include the removal of a plumbing fit-out within the tenancy or where a connected pre-treatment device is made inoperable.

The property owner is responsible for notifying Council that the required works have been implemented.  The measures undertaken to prevent the discharge of trade waste must be inspected and approved by Council.  Property owners should discuss the planned actions with a Trade Waste team member prior to implementation in order to confirm the measures will meet Council’s requirements.  Please note:

  • Base charges will continue to apply until the disconnection has been approved by Council.
  • Future re-connection of the premises will require the property owner to submit a new plumbing and drainage application, as well as pay applicable fees.

What are volumetric charges?

Volumetric charges are applied to recover the costs associated with transporting the trade waste via the sewerage network and then treating it at our Wastewater Treatment Plants to ensure the final effluent discharged meets environmental requirements.   Volumetric charges are applicable to all connections discharging trade waste above low strength.

Given trade waste contains significantly increased pollutants; it can shorten the useful life of our assets and also cause additional maintenance to be undertaken.  In addition, it requires further treatment processes to ensure it complies with environmental regulations.

How much are volumetric charges?

Council applies a user-pays charging system which provides economic incentives to minimise waste generation.  Volumetric charges consist of:

  • A fixed charge per kilolitre;
  • A variable charge for pollutants in excess of prescribed limits; and
  • Analysis charges to determine discharge strength (where required).

The trade waste charges are determined by Council each financial year as part of the adopted annual budget.  The charging framework and the applicable rates are available on Council’s website.

What are excess pollutant charges?

Excess pollutant charges only apply for high strength generators.  Charges are based on pollutant strength which is determined via sample analysis.  The total amount charged is calculated on the kilograms of pollutants produced (i.e. volume x strength).

What are analysis charges?

In order to determine the level of excess pollutants for high strength generators, Council may require samples of the trade waste discharge to be collected and analysed.  This service may be provided by an independent laboratory or by Council’s laboratory.  The number of samples required to be collected and analysed is based on the risk to the sewerage system, the volumes discharged and the consistency of previous sample results.

How are volumetric charges calculated?

Volumetric charges are calculated based on the amount of trade waste discharged multiplied by the applicable charge rate.  Measurement is determined via approved flow devices, such as meters installed on the premises.  Council’s Trade Waste team routinely read the meters throughout the year.

How often are volumetric charges applied?

In the past, volumetric charges have been billed annually in the following year i.e. 12 months in arrears.  However, from 1 July 2018, the volumetric charges will move to quarterly billing in order to align with other water and sewerage charges.  This will result in:

  • The total volumetric charges for 2017-18 will be billed in 2018-19 Quarter 1.  This represents a catch-up of the outstanding 12 months arrears and is a one-off event.
  • From then on, the volumetric charges applicable for each three month period will be included in the subsequent quarterly rates notices.

Why did the timing of volumetric charges change?

The move to the quarterly billing of volumetric charges was undertaken in order to align with other water and sewerage charges.

How are customers impacted by the change to the timing of volumetric charges?

Beyond the initial change, there are benefits for customers in that quarterly charges will be smaller, more manageable amounts rather than a large annual bill.  This will also assist with the calculation of outstanding charges when a business ceases trading or sells their operations.

How are customers impacted by the change to the timing of volumetric charges?

Overall, there are no additional charges for customers.  However, the new arrangements may impact on the cashflows for the 2018-19 financial year as customers will incur both the previous 12 months charges plus the quarterly charges for the next three quarters which may not have been budgeted.

Council understands this may place added financial pressures on some property owners and/or their tenants.  In accordance with Council’s Financial Hardship Policy, payment options may be available to property owners.  Please contact our Customer Service Centre on (07) 3412 5230 to discuss further.

Will volumetric charges apply for vacant tenancies?

Volumetric charges for each tenancy will be calculated at the end of each quarter, irrespective of whether the tenancy is occupied or vacant at that time.

Should a tenancy become vacant during the quarter or change hands, the property owner may request Council to provide an estimate of the applicable charges incurred by the outgoing tenant.  Council will read the meters and use available information to calculate the estimate.

The property owner may wish to recover these estimated charges from the outgoing tenant in accordance with commercial billing arrangements.  However, it should be noted that the estimate provided by Council may vary from the final calculation for the quarter.

Who will trade waste charges be issued to?

Council will issue trade waste charges to the property owner via quarterly rates notices.  Property owners wishing to recover the trade waste charges from their tenants will need to directly establish associated invoicing arrangements. Council recommends property owners and tenants discuss the applicable commercial billing arrangements.

Who is responsible for paying trade waste charges?

Under Council policy, trade waste charges have always been secured against the property on which the trade waste is generated.  Accordingly, sole responsibility for the payment of charges resides with the property owner.

Where do trade waste charges appear on the rates notice?

Trade waste charges appear on the ‘Water and Wastewater Information’ sheet attached to the rates notice.  All water and sewerage charges, including the trade waste charges, are totalled and the amount included on the main rates notice.

How can trade waste charges be paid?

As the trade waste charges are included on the rates notice, all methods for the payment of rates will be available to property owners.

When are trade waste charges required to be paid?

All charges will be due by the nominated date on the rates notices.  If the charges are not paid within the prescribed time after service of the rates notice, the outstanding amount will be charged interest at a specified rate per annum.

How will property owners know how much to recover from tenants?

Prior to receiving the 2018-19 Quarter 1 rates notice, property owners will be issued with the following documents to assist with the recovery of charges from their tenants:

  1. Base Charges Summary – details the quarterly base charges payable for each connection located on a property for the 2018-19 financial year, together with the business name of the last known occupant.
  2. Volumetric Charges Summary – details the volumetric charges payable for each connection located on a property for the 2017-18 financial year, together with the business name of the last known occupant.

Prior to receiving the rates notices for each of the remaining three quarters of the year, properties with multiple tenants (e.g. shopping centres) will continue to receive a ‘Volumetric Charges Summary’ to assist in the recovery of charges from tenants.

Properties with only a single tenant will no longer receive this information, as the amount included on the rates notice will be the amount the property owner will need to recover from their tenant.  Property owners may contact the Trade Waste team on (07) 3412 5666 if additional information is required in relation to the calculated amount.

How will tenants know what they are being charged for?

Council will be providing property owners with the details of the charges applicable for each connection on a property.  Council recommends property owners and tenants discuss the applicable commercial billing arrangements, including the provision of information in relation to the applicable charges.

Can tenants contact Council to discuss their charges?

Due to our Privacy policy, Council will not be able to discuss any financial information with tenants. Generators contacting Council will be advised to contact their property owner (or representative) in relation to any financial matters.  It is therefore recommended that property owners liaise with their tenants to discuss the applicable commercial billing arrangements.

Please note, Council will be able to provide tenants with details concerning the volume of trade waste discharged from their premises and the analysis results of any samples taken from pre-treatment devices.  In addition, the charging framework and rates will be available on Council’s website.

Can property owners charge more?

The recovery of trade waste charges by property owners will be the subject of a commercial billing arrangement between property owners and their tenants.

Is GST payable on trade waste charges issued by Council to property owners?

Any general, separate or special rates and charges included in the rates notice are excluded from GST by the determination of the Commonwealth Treasurer per Division 81 and Division 38-I of the Goods and Services Tax Act (1999).

Will property owners charge tenants GST on trade waste charges?

GST is generally payable by tenants in relation to trade waste charges issued by property owners.  GST can generally be recovered by tenants via Input Tax Credits claimed on their Business Activity Statements.  Council strongly recommends that property owners and tenants seek their own financial advice in relation to all GST matters.

What are pre-treatment devices?

Pre-treatment devices facilitate the removal of pollutants harmful to people, the environment and the sewerage system.  They include:

  • Grease Arrestors
  • Silt Arrestors
  • Oil Arrestors
  • Coalescing Plate Separators
  • Vertical Gravity Separators
  • Holding Tanks
  • Dilution Tanks
  • Soak Tanks
  • Acid Neutralisers
  • Onsite Treatment Plants

How often do pre-treatment devices need to be serviced?

Regular servicing and maintenance is required to ensure the devices remain in an efficient and effective operating condition at all times.  The frequency is determined by:

  • The size of the pre-treatment device;
  • The volume of the trade waste discharged to the device; and
  • The amount of pollutants contained in the trade waste discharged to the device.

Council will determine the service frequencies for each device and detail these requirements in the Trade Waste Approval – Schedule 2 issued to a property owner.  Based on the outcomes of inspections, audits and waste monitoring activities, Council may determine to amend the service frequencies.  Where a change occurs, Council will re-issue an amended Schedule 2 to the property owner.

How does Council monitor that the pre-treatment devices are being serviced?

Council presently monitors service frequency compliance via monthly reports provided by liquid waste transporters contracted by property owners (or their representatives / tenants) to service the devices.  However, from 1 July 2018, Council will be using an electronic waste tracking system to automatically monitor compliance in real-time.

What is WasteID?

WasteID is an electronic waste tracking system developed by Amtac Professional Services Pty Ltd.  It enables Council to monitor the servicing of pre-treatment devices in real-time to ensure compliance with the service frequencies specified in the Trade Waste Approval issued for a property.

In addition to monitoring pre-treatment device service frequency compliance, Council can also see the volume of waste collected from each device and that the total volume collected by the transporter is disposed at an approved treatment facility.

Do other local authorities use WasteID?

Yes.  The same system is used by Gold Coast, Sydney, Toowoomba and various other local authorities throughout Australia.

How does WasteID work?

The basic operation of the system is as follows:

  • Council has installed QR identification tags in close proximity to the pre-treatment devices.  There is a separate tag for each device.
  • Liquid waste transporters use a web-application installed on their phones / tablets to scan the applicable QR identification tag upon completing a service.
  • The information is immediately uploaded to the WasteID system so that Council can see the service has been completed.
  • Should the pre-treatment device not be serviced within the specified frequency, a notification is generated by the system and Council will contact the property owner accordingly.

Can property owners access WasteID?

Yes.  Property owners (or representatives) are able to register to gain access to the WasteID system and will be able to:

  • View information about the devices on their property – type, capacity, service frequency etc.;
  • Review the service history, including dates and times (only available from the go-live date);
  • Confirm services have been conducted by their contracted transporter;
  • Receive automatic notifications when services have been conducted (optional);
  • View upcoming services; and
  • Track all properties in their portfolio (Logan and other areas using WasteID e.g. Gold Coast).

How can property owners register to access WasteID?

To register to gain access to the WasteID system, property owners (or representatives) must send an email to tradews@logan.qld.gov.au containing the following information:

  • Subject Heading – WasteID Registration
  • Trade Waste Reference number
  • Name of the property owner
  • ABN of the property owner or representative (this is used as a unique identifier in the system)
  • Contact representative name
  • Contact representative phone number

This information will be passed onto Amtac Professional Services Pty Ltd to create an account for the nominated email address and contact representative.  Upon creation of the account, an email will be sent advising of the ability to log-in to the system.

Can tenants access WasteID?

No.  Access to WasteID is restricted to property owners (or representatives).

Does it cost anything to access WasteID?

Access to WasteID is provided at no cost.  All property owners (or representatives) are required to do is register in accordance with the specified requirements.

When can the information in WasteID be accessed?

The go-live date for WasteID is 1 July 2018.  Information will be able to be accessed from that date.

Which liquid waste transporters are registered in WasteID?

From 1 July 2018, property owners (or representatives) will only be able to use transporters which are registered in WasteID and thereby approved by Council to service pre-treatment devices. Council has contacted all transporters known to be operating in the Logan area and registered them accordingly.  The following provides a list of approved transporters.  Please note, this list may be subject to change and the latest version can be found on Council’s website.

  • B&Y Liquid Waste Removal
  • Beaudesert Liquid Waste
  • Cleanaway
  • Environmental Separator Maintenance
  • Hando’s Tanker Hire
  • J.J. Richards & Sons
  • Lee's Septic Service
  • Master Drain Blasters
  • Pump It Environmental Services
  • Soak Tank Australia
  • Town & Country Pumping Service
  • Veolia
  • Wet Waste

Please ensure your transporter is on the above list and immediately advise our Trade Waste team on (07) 3412 5666 if they are not.