Trade Waste

  • As part of State Government requirements, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council has a Trade Waste Environmental Management Plan and must strictly regulate the discharge of trade waste to the sewer.

    All discharges must comply with the sewer admission standards set out in the management plan. Trade waste is the liquid waste generated from any industry, business trade or manufacturing process. It does not include human waste.

    The following information is a guide to help waste generators. As waste quality may vary both within a given industry and between individual industries of the same type, the adequacy of these guidelines will need to be verified for each discharge.

    To apply for a Trade Waste Discharge Permit in the Cassowary Coast Region, please fill out an application form and return it to the Cassowary Coast Regional Council.

    Waste from commercial and service industries

    Owners of all premises where commercial or service enterprises are undertaken, or are likely to be undertaken, must apply to the Cassowary Coast Regional Council for a Trade Waste Permit to discharge waste to the sewer.

    Discharge without approval is an offence under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 and the Local Government Act 1993 and is subject to penalties of up to 1665 penalty units ($166,500.00) as defined in the Act.

    Commercial and service enterprises include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, fast food outlets/takeaways, delicatessens, icecream parlours
    • butchers, bakers/hot bread shops, pie/pastry outlets, seafood shops
    • hotels, motels, clubs, hairdressers, laundromats, supermarkets/shopping centres
    • service stations/ other automotive related businesses (small scale),  large & small engineering works
    • hospitals, nursing homes, medical surgeries (includes dental, veterinary, chiropractic – where they have x-rays)
    • garbage collection areas in commercial buildings, photographic/x-ray/graphic arts/mini labs
    • air-conditioning waste-condensates, cooling tower wastes, commercial refrigeration condensates
    • swimming pool backwash water, commercial car washes and car detailing, car wash for unit construction of 12 units or more
    • childcare centres, schools and funeral parlours.

    In most cases these businesses would be classified as minor generators and wastes would be suitable for discharge to the sewer after appropriate pre-treatment. However, the trade waste officer will assess all trade waste generators and determine their category.

    Form 1 - Compliance assessment application for plumbing, drainage and on-site sewerage work

  • How it works

    Grease arrestors are designed to keep as much fat oil and grease (FOG) as possible out of the sewerage system to minimise blockages and odours. A grease arrestor cools waste allowing FOG to separate and float to the surface of the trap. Some solids may settle at the bottom of the arrestor as sludge.


    Clean your grease arrestor regularly by using a Cassowary Coast Regional Council-approved liquid waste contractor. There is a list of approved contractors at the bottom of this section. This will help reduce odours and prolong the life of the arrestor. A correctly-sized arrestor will need cleaning every eight to 12 weeks. Recommendations for cleaning times are listed on your Trade Waste Permit.

    Keep vents, lids, frames and concrete surrounds in good order. Poorly-fitted or damaged vents, lids and frames may allow odours to escape or vermin to breed. Public safety and the infiltration of rainwater are also major concerns.

    A hose tap needs to be installed within five metres of the grease trap.  This hose tap needs to be used for grease trap cleaning purposes only. A backflow prevention device (double-check valve) needs to be installed immediately prior to the hose tap.

    Recycle all spent cooking oils

    Do not dispose of unwanted oil and grease through your arrestor. This will adversely affect the quality of effluent discharged to the sewer and you will need to service your arrestor much more frequently. Most cooking oils are suitable for recycling.

    Grease arrestor requirements

    Do not discharge garbage grinder or hairdresser waste through your grease trap.

    Do not attempt to clean your grease arrestor yourself.

    The use of solvents, enzymes, mutant bacteria, odour control units or pesticide in grease arrestor traps is prohibited unless specifically approved by the trade waste officer.

    The maximum allowable capacity of an individual grease arrestor is 2000 litres. Where the capacity requirements for a premise are greater than 2000 litres, additional arrestors shall be used, with each arrestor to be a discrete installation separately treating a defined waste stream. The minimum size grease arrestor allowable in a commercial situation is 550 litres.

    Grease convertors and big dippers are not allowed.

    In-sink bucket trap and in-floor bucket trap

    Install an authorised in-sink bucket trap and in-floor bucket trap in food preparation and handling areas.

    Oil arrestors

    Oily waste water can interfere with the operation of Council's sewerage system, have an impact on the wastewater discharged to the environment and affect the health of people working on the sewerage system.

    In-ground triple-chamber-type oil arrestors are no longer permitted for oil and grease separation. Oil arrestors need to be the coalescing plate type, vertical gravity arrestors, hydro-cyclones or other Cassowary Coast Regional Council-approved devices.

    Oil arrestor pumps

    Only non–emulsifying pumps such as an electrically-driven diaphragm pump (at less than 40 cycles per minute) or a mono pump may be used to pump the wastewater to an arrestor. The pump discharge must not be greater than the capacity of the arrestor.
    Any person wishing to sell an oil arrestor system which includes the pump for treatment of wastewater going to sewer must conform to these guidelines.


    The area around all treatment installations must be bunded. There must be no spillage or overflow of trade wastewater influent or effluent, sludge or treatment chemicals to the stormwater or sewerage systems (by gravity or by automated mechanical means).

    Ensure that the oil separator is inside a bunded area.

    Installation requirements for oil arrestors are as follows:

    • Only Council-approved equipment is to be installed
    • Installation must comply with relevant Council building and plumbing by-laws
    • Minimum capacity: 1000 litres per hour
    • Where required, pumps are to be sized so as not to exceed the capacity of the arrestor
    • Only approved non-emulsifying pumps are to be used
    • Sludge outlet to be fitted with a full-flow valve
    • Manufacturers' recommended servicing/clean schedules must be adhered to
    • Servicing records are to be kept and made available to trade waste officers
    • Cleaners and detergents must be of "quick break" formulation
    • Sludge container and an oil container must be placed under the sludge and oil outlet pipes.

    N.B. In-ground oil arrestor grease silt traps are no longer acceptable.

    A permit to undertake plumbing work must be obtained from Council prior to installation.

    All work needs to be performed by a licensed plumber/drainer.

  • There are a number of ways to reduce wastewater levels and lessen the load placed on pre-treatment facilities. These can even lead to re-classification as a non-discharger. Some of the practices are:

    • Use less water by adopting dry cleaning methods. The less water used, the less trade waste wastewater needs to be treated.
    • Dry cleaning methods include wiping up spills and sweeping, rather than hosing. There are absorbent packs available to soak up oil spills.
    • Ensure that all equipment is properly cleaned and maintained.
    • Don't pour oil down the drain, Ensure that adequate storage is provided for used oil and that a collection program is arranged with an oil recycler.
    • Use "quick break" detergents. These help remove oil at the pre-treatment stage.
    • Use cleaning products that have a PH of between 7 -10 at working concentrations.
  • Trade waste permit fees are charged annually and in advance. An application processing fee will be charged when applying for a new permit. See Council's fees and charges for standard prices. Please contact Council if you have any questions relating to your payment arrangements.

  • If you want to make changes to your permit you need to submit a new Trade Waste Discharge Permit application form.

    A new permit will be required for the following circumstances:

    • A change of business name and/or mailing address
    • When existing owners add a new partner
    • A change of signatures
    • A transfer of ownership
    • A change of generators.

    If you have any queries regarding changes to a permit, please contact Council or your Council trade waste officer.

    Cancelling your tradewaste permit

    If you want to cancel a trade waste permit, please inform Cassowary Coast Regional Council (with attention to the trade waste officer) in writing, including the following details:

    • the final day of trading for the business
    • the forwarding address and phone number of the permit holder.

    Please allow trade waste officers to have full access to your business site in order to make their final inspections. If you have a water meter in place, a final reading will be made.

    After the final inspection Council may issue you with a final account for any outstanding fees and charges. Please note: There are no refunds on any permit issued, and permits are not transferable.

    Cassowary Coast licenced pump-out contractors

    Septic Tank Waste
    Peterson's Waste Disposal 0438 654 931
    Island Coast Liquid Waste 0418 877 320
    NQ Resource Recovery 0421 088 886
    D & R Lavis Waste 0417 154 325
    NQ Drain Doctors 07 4095 5211
    JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd 0403 387 100
    Grease Trap Waste
    Grease Trap Services 0417 770 849
    Island Coast Liquid Waste 0418 877 320
    NQ Resource Recovery 0421 088 886
    D & R Lavis Waste 0417 154 325
    JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd 0403 387 100
    Oily Wastes
    NQ Resource Recovery 0421 088 886
    D & R Lavis Waste 0417 154 325
    JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd 0403 387 100
    Hazardous Waste
    NQ Resource Recovery 0421 088 886
    Cooking Oil Collection
    D & R Lavis Waste 0417 154 325
  • Phone: 1300 763 903

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