Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Council charge for trade waste?
Council provides a wastewater system primarily for the transport and treatment of domestic sewage. Trade waste discharged by businesses may contain significantly increased pollutants which can harm people, the environment, the wastewater system.
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 site inspections and audits to ensure compliance is maintained
- performing catchment monitoring studies to control potential hazards and risks
- providing advice, education and awareness to trade waste generators.
Council applies trade waste charges to recover the costs associated with this service. In addition, as trade waste discharges generate an additional load on the wastewater 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 2 tiers of charges based on the strength of the trade waste discharged:
- Tier 1 – Low Strength = Annual base charge $416.16 (or $104.04 per quarter)
- Tier 2 – Above Low Strength = Annual base charge $710.60 (or $177.65 per quarter)
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 a base charge can be removed is if there is a physical disconnection implemented, thereby preventing the discharge of trade waste to the wastewater 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.
- 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 Application, as well as pay applicable fees.
What are volumetric charges?
Given trade waste contains significantly increased pollutants; it can shorten the useful life of assets and also cause additional maintenance to be undertaken. In addition, it requires further treatment processes to ensure it complies with environmental regulations.
Volumetric charges are applied to recover the costs associated with transporting the trade waste via the wastewater network and then treating it at our wastewater treatment plants. Volumetric charges are applicable to all connections discharging trade waste above low strength.
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 variable 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 Category 5 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 Category 5 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 on a fee for service basis. The number of samples required to be collected and analysed is based on the risk to the wastewater 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 read the meters each quarter.
How often are volumetric charges applied?
From 1 July 2018, volumetric charges moved from annual billing to quarterly billing in order to align with other water and sewerage charges. The charges are based on the previous 3 months of trade waste discharged to the wastewater system.
How do customers benefit from the change to the timing of volumetric charges?
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.
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. If the tenancy was vacant for the entire quarter, it is unlikely volumetric trade waste charges would apply.
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.
This information will be provided to the property owner who may wish to recover the 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 their property rates notices. Property owners wishing to recover the trade waste charges from their tenants will need to directly establish associated invoicing arrangements. Council strongly 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 rate per annum specified by Council.
How will property owners know how much to recover from tenants?
For properties where there is only a single trade waste connection, Council will not provide any additional information. The amount to be recovered is the sum of the trade waste charges as detailed on the Water and Wastewater Information sheet attached to the rates notice.
For properties where there are multiple trade waste connections, Council will provide the following:
- Base Charges Summary – details the quarterly base charges payable for each connection located on a property for the financial year, together with the business name of the last known occupant. It is issued at the start of each financial year and updated during the year when there have been changes, such as new connections or disconnections.
- Volumetric Charges Summary – details the volumetric charges payable for each connection located on a property for the previous quarter, together with the business name of the last known occupant. It is issued at the end of each quarter.
Can tenants contact Council to discuss their charges?
Please note, Council will be able to provide tenants with details concerning the volume of trade waste discharged from their premises and 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 A New Tax System (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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- 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
- 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.