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Trade Waste Discharge Consent

Para umanga

Any business that discharges or wants to discharge trade waste into the wastewater system must now apply for a trade waste discharge consent. This page explains what it means for businesses and provides details on how to apply.

What is trade waste? What is Council's role? Resources Application process and costs Apply for a trade waste consent FAQs Need more info?

What is trade waste?

Trade waste is any liquid or gas waste discharged into the wastewater system from commercial, industrial or educational trade premises. This includes discharge from restaurants, takeaway outlets, food processors, car washes, service stations, hospitals, churches, schools, chemical manufacturers and much more.

Trade waste is different to domestic wastewater because it can contain high levels of fat, oils, and grease (FOG). It may also contain higher concentrations of substances, which can put a demand on our treatment facility’s microbes to process wastewater they are not designed to process. These substances and FOG can corrode and/or block wastewater pipes, damage pump stations, cause unwanted odours, and end up polluting our lakes and waterways.

Why is it important to manage trade waste? 

Managing trade waste helps to:

  • protect the health of all people working on the wastewater network.

  • protect our environment and waterways from harmful and toxic substances.

  • encourage waste minimisation, water conservation and cleaner production.

  • prevent blocked sewers and wastewater spills.

What is Council's role?

The Council is responsible for maintaining and operating our three waters infrastructure. To support this, the Integrated Three Waters Bylaw 2020 and Administration Manual came into effect on 1 July 2021. The Bylaw takes a more holistic and consistent approach to maintaining our three waters infrastructure and better supports the district’s precious environment and vital infrastructure.  

This includes:

  • cleaning and inspecting wastewater pipes to ensure they are flowing correctly.

  • running and operating our wastewater treatment plants to ensure that wastewater is being adequately treated.

  • maintaining the many wastewater pump stations around the district to make sure that the wastewater that you flush away ends up at a treatment plant.

Trade waste can also be very costly to treat. While the Council is responsible for building, operating and maintaining the essential infrastructure, we all have a part to play to keep things running smoothly.

It is now mandatory for all businesses that discharge trade waste into the public wastewater network to hold a Trade Waste Consent or Approval Notice. If you discharge to a private network, then you do not need to apply.


Application process and costs

Applications will be assessed according to the quality and quantity of your discharge and the potential effect it might have on the environment. 

Once you have submitted your application based on business type, you will be contacted for an inspection of your premises. Following the inspection, your trade waste discharge will be assessed, and you will be allocated a category of either Permitted, Controlled or Conditional.

An invoice will be issued and once payment has been made you will then receive a trade waste agreement, which may include conditions and/or recommendations on how to improve the discharge quality and support the collective effort to minimise our environmental footprint.

The three main categories that your trade premise may fall into are permitted, controlled and conditional.

  1. Permitted trade waste is trade waste from a premise that complies with the requirements of the Bylaw without pre-treatment (e.g. without a grease trap) OR the premise discharges <2000L/day.

  2. Controlled trade waste is for a premise that requires pre-treatment to meet the requirements in the Bylaw.

  3. Conditional trade waste is for a premise that discharges >2000L.day or even with pre-treatment, they do not meet the requirements of the Bylaw.

Find out what type of trade waste discharge category may apply to your business with this guide.

Fees

Below is a schedule of the charges you can expect, which is dependent on what trade waste discharge category your business meets. The schedule of fees can also be found under Section D of the Administration Manual.

Trade Waste Application and Management Fees for Permitted Trade Wastes

  • Administration Fee – consists of a flat fee to process the application: $180

  • Initial inspection fee - if required to process the application: $180

  • Non-compliance inspection fee: $270

  • Sampling Event – if required. (As per laboratory charges): At cost

Trade Waste Application and Management Fees for Controlled Trade Wastes

  • Administration Fee – consists of a flat fee to process the application: $360

  • Initial inspection fee - to process the application: $180

  • Scheduled Compliance inspection: $180

  • Non-compliance inspection: $270

  • Sampling Event – if required. (As per laboratory charges): At cost

Trade Waste Application and Management Fees for Conditional Trade Wastes

  • Administration Fee – consists of a flat fee to process the application: $450

  • Initial inspection fee - required to process the application: $180

  • Compliance inspection: $180

  • Non-compliance inspection: $270

  • Sampling Event (As per laboratory charges): At cost


Frequently asked questions

  • If your trade premise discharges more than 2000L/day, then your business would likely fall under the Conditional Consent category. Conditional trade waste is trade waste that does not comply with one or more of the physical and chemical characteristics set out in Schedule A of the Administration Manual and/or has a maximum volume of more than 2000L/day.

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  • Where a trade premise’s wastewater discharge includes, or is likely to include fats, grease, or oils (FOG) more than 100 grams per 1000 litres/day, a grease trap must be installed.

    The occupiers must maintain and use the grease trap to a level that ensures the discharge complies with the limit for fats, oil, and grease, as set out in the Bylaw and Part E if the Administration Manual.

    • Grease traps come in a range of types and sizes. Passive grease traps are most commonly found outside rather than underneath the kitchen sink. Passive grease traps have a series of compartments that are separated by baffles, the wastewater flows through the compartments, which slow down the flow and cool it down. This allows the FOG to float to the top of the trap, the food solids to float to the bottom and the free-flowing wastewater passes through to the outlet.

    • Mechanical grease traps are usually installed under a sink. Wastewater flows into the trap through a filter, which removes any solids. The FOG builds up at the top of the system, but instead of it being manually cleaned out, there is a mechanical system that automatically removes the FOG into a container. The filter needs to be continuously cleaned to ensure wastewater can freely flow through.

    • Grease converters are less common. They have an automatic dosing pump, which pumps a set amount of enzyme (or equivalent) into the tank and breaks down the FOG before the wastewater is discharged into the Council wastewater network. Enzymes can be easily affected from substances, such as food solids and chemicals from cleaning agents, which prevent the enzymes from breaking down the FOG.

    No matter the type of grease trap your trade premise has, if requested you will be required to show the inspector the maintenance and service history of your grease trap. All types of grease traps must be maintained to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. 

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  • As part of the Trade Waste Agreement process, you may be requested to supply a Stormwater and/or Trade Waste Management Plan. Once these plans are accepted by Council, you will have to adopt the principles and procedures that you detailed in the plan.

    A Trade Waste Management Plan can include the type of waste being discharged, the pre-treatment being used, the maintenance plans in place to ensure the pre-treatment is working correctly and the procedures in place to ensure that the discharge is within the limits specified under Schedule A of the Administration Manual. It can also include the methods in place to work towards cleaner production, the methods used to minimize all types of waste and any other innovative ways to reduce water usage.

    A Stormwater Management Plan can outline the methods and procedures to protect Council’s Stormwater network being contamination from trade premises. This can include a site drawing showing where the stormwater inlets are in comparison to any wastewater drains, site inspections of any potential contaminants, methods in place to contain these contaminants in the event of a spillage, spillage prevention and response procedures and any other methods to work towards cleaner production and waste minimization.

    Your business may already have these plans in place, if not, email the Trade Waste team for an example template.  
    trade.waste@qldc.govt.nz 

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  • If there is a change to the type of trade, a change to business practices, a change in pre-treatment or any change that would affect your discharge after your agreement has been established, then you need to email us at and keep us informed. These changes could have an impact on the type of agreement you have.

    trade.waste@qldc.govt.nz

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  • If there are any changes to your business details, email us and let us know. That way we can update our details to ensure we are liaising with the correct people and to ensure we always have up to date records.

    trade.waste@qldc.govt.nz 

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  • Below is a table from the Administration Manual with guidelines of the different types of pre-treatment requirements and the risks that their discharge has on the wastewater network.

    Type of business activity Risk to the wastewater network Pre-treatment required for these “Controlled” Trade Wastes Refer Bylaw Clauses E12, E13, E14, E15 and E16
    Food premises with including:

    • Day-care centre
    • Nursing Homes
    • Hospitals
    • Retirement Villages
    All with cooking on site
    • Fats, oil and grease can clog the wastewater network
    • Risk to the WWTP – toxic waste and waste with a high nutrient load is more difficult to treat and requires additional aeration
    • Emerging contaminants in cleaning chemicals pose a risk to the receiving environment and biosolids
    • Premises that operate for more than 10 hours/day are likely to exceed the allocated amount of water as allowed under a permitted activity
    • Grease trap
    • Sink screens
    Dentists
    • Amalgam from fillings contaminate the biosolids and should be recycled
    • Amalgam Trap
    Car Washes Large areas roofed and bunded (Clause D1.6 of this Administration Manual)
    • Hydrocarbons/grit
    • High water users (> 2m³/day) – causes capacity issues in the network
    • Emerging contaminants in cleaning chemical pose a risk to the receiving environment and contaminate the biosolids
    • Solvents and used oil pose a risk to the network if not stored correctly and requires to be collected for recycling purposes
    • Oil/grit Interceptor

    Pre-treatment Guidelines

    Hairdressers

    • Hair can tangle around pumps in the pump station and assist in causing sewer blockages that can lead to sewer overflows
    • Sink screens
    Medical Facilities
    • Risk to the WWTP – toxic waste is more difficult to treat and requires additional aeration
    • Emerging contaminants in cleaning chemicals pose a risk to the receiving environment and biosolids
    • Sink screens and plaster arrestors
    Automotive /Mechanical
    • Hydrocarbons, oil and other solvents
    • Solvents and used oil pose a risk to the network if not stored correctly and requires to be collected for recycling purposes
    • Oil / water interceptors
    Garbage Bin Cleaning
    • Can clog wastewater network
    • Basket Trap and Fixed Screen
    Laundries
    • High water users (> 2m³/day) – causes capacity issues in the network
    • Emerging contaminants, i.e. surfactants in washing powder pose a risk to the receiving environment and contaminate the biosolids
    • Lint screens
    • May require cooling pit
    Equipment Washing
    • Clog wastewater networks
    • Oil/grit/water separation
    School Art Studio and Laboratories
    • Wastewater network risks
    • Grit trap and/or neutralisation/mixing chamber
    Septic Tank Waste (Septage)
    • Toxic waste can have a detrimental impact on the microbes that break down the waste in the wastewater treatment plant.
    • No pre-treatment required
    • Private septic tank management required in accordance with good practice
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  • Since we do not have water meters in our district, we are required to make some assumptions. If your business is open for more than 10 hours/day, you are likely to discharge more than 2000L/day. Alternatively, if your accommodation premise can accommodate more than 8 persons/night, then you are likely to also discharge more than 2000L/day. These guidelines may not be a one size fits all scenario and trade waste team will be able to better advise you on this once the premise’s inspection has been completed. If your business is open less than 10 hours/day or accommodates less than 8 people, this does not mean you are exempt form applying for a trade waste consent.

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Need more info?

If you have any questions about the process or the online application form that have not been answered here, please contact the Trade Waste Team:

Phone: 03 441 0499
trade.waste@qldc.govt.nz

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