Domestic waste

Domestic waste is waste that is generated as a result of the ordinary day-to-day use of a domestic premise and is either:

  1. taken from the premises by or on behalf of the occupier who generated the waste; without consideration (e.g. payment, reward or other benefit); or
  2. collected by or on behalf of a local government as part of a waste collection and disposal system.

 It is not domestic waste if it is:

  • taken from a domestic premises under a commercial arrangement (e.g. waste collected in a skip supplied by a commercial operator); or
  • generated at a domestic premises as a result of a commercial arrangement (e.g. waste generated by a builder paid to perform renovations or by a commercial lawn mowing or gardening contractor).

This type of waste would be classified as commercial waste.

Commercial waste

Commercial waste can be defined as any waste other than domestic waste. It may be generated as a result of the operation of a not-for-profit organisation or carrying out a business, including associated lawn and garden clippings from normal maintenance of the business premises. Commercial waste also includes rubbish produced by a business’s customers (e.g. food wrappers and containers). Some waste facilities do not accept commercial waste. 

Commercial waste is generated as a result of carrying out any of the following activities:

  • manufacturing and industrial processes
  • mining
  • wholesale or retail trading
  • sorting, resource recovery, reprocessing and recycling operations
  • activities carried out at a domestic premises under a commercial arrangement
  • accommodation services
  • hospitality services, including catering
  • primary industries, including agricultural, forestry and fishing
  • veterinary services
  • health services, including operating a nursing home
  • educational services
  • activities carried out by charities
  • activities carried out by churches
  • organising concerts and other entertainment events
  • other business activities, including administrative services

Please note: definitions are taken from the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 and Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2011.

The reasons commercial waste is treated differently

There are a number of reasons why commercial waste is treated differently to domestic waste. This includes:

  • The legislative framework is different for commercial waste, resulting in additional compliance requirements for Council.
  • Domestic properties are charged a Waste Collection Utility Charge (WCUC) for a kerbside collection service or a Waste Management Facility Charge (WMFC) for self-haul of general domestic waste to a waste management facility as part of the property rates; or a Waste Management Facility Access Charge (WMFAC) for non-ratepaying residents to self-haul of general domestic waste to a waste management facility. The payment of the WCUC, WMFC or WMFAC allows a nil-gate charge for domestic customers, except where a specific charge applies (e.g. Residual Waste for Landfill >400kg Net). These charges do not apply to commercial properties.
  • Certain wastes are classified as a ‘Regulated Waste’ when generated by a commercial business, therefore these need to be appropriately managed.
  • Commercial businesses generate larger quantities of wastes.
  • The Queensland Waste Disposal Levy is applied differently to domestic and commercial waste. More information on the Queensland Waste Disposal Levy is available on the Queensland Government website.