Queensland Waste Levy FAQs

Why is a waste disposal levy being introduced?

The Queensland Government will introduce a waste levy from 1 July 2019, to reduce the amount of waste disposed to landfill, and increase opportunities for resource recovery and recycling.

Is there an exemption for charitable recycling entities?

Under Section 28 of the Act, eligible charitable recycling entities in Queensland will be able to apply for an exemption for waste that has been donated, but that cannot practicably be re-used, recycled or sold.

What is NACRO’s role?

NACRO has been engaged by the Queensland Government, through the Department of Environment and Science (the Department) to provide an education and assistance package to assist eligible charitable recycling entities through the exemption application process, requirements and timeframes.

Does NACRO have a dedicated phone and email service?

Yes. Please email: QLDCharityExemptions@nacro.org.au or call 0433 788 277

Does my Charitable Recycling Entity Need to Apply for an Exemption?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

What are the Four Eligibility Criteria to Apply for an Exemption?

That the charitable recycling entity operates on a non-for-profit basis, is a registered charity under the Collections Act 1966, is a deductable gift recipient (DGR) administered by the ATO and actively and consistently operates a recycling and re-use program.

Does my Charitable Recycling Entity have to meet all Four Criteria?


Is there a Fee for the Application?


Can NACRO Assist with my Application?


Is there a Fee for the Assistance?


How Much Could Charitable Recycling Entities Save with an Exemption?

Charitable recycling entities send 13,482 tonnes to landfill reach year. At $75 per tonne, that’s over a million dollars.

What Types of Waste May be Eligible for Exemption?

Waste that has been donated to charitable recycling entities in Queensland, but that cannot practicably be re-used, recycled or sold.

What About General Office Waste?

No, office waste is not exempt.

Are there Other Types of Exempt Waste?

Yes, the Act provides for other types of waste while these may or may not be relevant to charitable recycling entities.

How Can I Best Learn About the Exemption Process?

Attend one of NACRO’s complimentary local workshops across Queensland in March

Where are the Workshops being Held?

Brisbane (Northside), Brisbane (Southside), Logan, Gold Coast, Moreton, Maroochydore, Gympie, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns

Who Else Will Attend the Workshops?

Your peers from charity op shops in your local area – Operations Managers, Retail Managers, Op Shop Managers, Recycling Managers and Warehouse Managers.

Why Else Should I Attend a Workshop?

You can meet your peers and talk about common problems and issues. NACRO will be there to provide information and support on both the waste levy exemption and anything else you need to know about recycling, retail, donating and waste.

Does NACRO offer any other information, support and assistance?

Yes. NACRO offers full support and assistance at no cost.

Where is the Waste Levy Zone?

The Waste Levy Zone affects 39 out of 77 local government areas. Click to view the Waste Levy Zone map >

Is Waste Generated Outside Queensland Exempt?


Is Waste Generated in the non-Levy Zone and Disposed in the non-Levy Zone Exempt?


When Does the Queensland Waste Disposal Levy Commence?

1 July 2019.

When should applications be submitted for a decision before levy commencement?.

To ensure assessment of application is completed before levy commencement, applications should be submitted to the department by 29 April 2019.

Can my Charitable Recycling Entity Still Apply After That?

Yes, but you may have to pay the levy in the interim.

Can All Our Subsidiaries, Op Shops and Warehouses Be Included in One Application?

Yes. It is recommended that applications cover all your constituent bodies, including subsidiaries, op shops and warehouses in Queensland with a state-wide application.

Can Small, Individual Op Shops Apply?

Yes. It is recommended that all eligible entities apply, however small.

Where is the Application Form?

On the the Department’s website. Please download it here but contact NACRO first for assistance and guidance in completing it.

Does Every Section of the Application Need to Be Completed in Full?

Yes. NACRO can assist you ensure your application is complete and compliant.

Can NACRO lodge my application?

Yes, you can choose NACRO to assist, check and lodge your application with the Department. Or you can lodge it directly with the Department.

Do the Intended Waste Disposal Sites Need to be Listed?


Does the State-wide Application Automatically Cover all Waste Disposal Sites?


Do Waste Management Contractors who Haul Waste Need to be Listed?


Do Vehicles Involved in Self-Haul Waste Need to be Listed?


What is the Maximum Exemption Period?

Three Years.

Does an Expected Waste Tonnage Quota Need to be Provided?


Where Can I Get Assistance to Work Out the Expected Waste Tonnage Quota?

NACRO can assist you calculate your expected waste tonnage.

How Long Does the Application Process Take?

The Department has 28 days to make a decision, once the application has been lodged with the Department. If further information is required, this will extend the process time.

What is a Certificate of Exempt Waste?

One will be issued to charitable recycling entities where exemptions are granted.

How Does it Work?

Each certificate includes an individual number that the landfill operator will enter at the gate to track all exempt waste sent to landfill by your entity.

What Happens if the Waste is Delivered to an Unspecified Landfill Site?

It may be rejected, or you may have to pay the levy.

What Happens if the Exempt Waste is Mixed with Other Waste?

You may have to pay the levy on the entire load.

Do We Need to Keep Track of Our Total Waste Tonnage


What Happens if Our Maximum Tonnage is Exceeded?

The Department will be notified through the database when a quote is close to exceeding.

What Are the Benefits of the Waste Levy?

  • To act as a price signal that encourages waste avoidance and resource recovery, and discourages disposal to landfill as the first option;
  • To provide a source of funding for programs to assist local government, business and industry to establish better resource recovery practices, improve overall waste management performance and sustain Queensland’ s natural environment;
  • To provide certainty and security of feedstocks for advanced resource recovery and recycling technologies, processing and products, and
  • To facilitate industry investment in resource recovery infrastructure.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Contact NACRO for its complimentary assistance, education and support package for everything you need to know.