General waste examples –  you may have heard your current waste supplier talk about how boosting recycling can help you save money on waste management. The simple question is often what is general waste – or is there a general waste definition that can be applied to my business?

This is definitely true and thanks to increasing government levies on dumping at landfill – the potential savings are growing all the time. In this blog we run through what general waste actually is and why you can save money by reducing it through recycling.


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What actually is a general waste definition – i.e. general waste examples?


General waste examples bins


The EPA splits the definition of general waste examples into two categories; putrescible and non-putrescible. Putrescible basically means whether it will rots or not.


General solid waste examples (putrescible) – general waste definition


The following general waste examples (other than special waste, liquid waste, hazardous waste or restricted solid waste) have been pre-classified by the EPA as ‘general solid waste examples (putrescible)’:

– household waste that contains putrescible organics

– waste from litter bins collected by or on behalf of local councils

– manure and night soil

– disposable nappies, incontinence pads or sanitary napkins

– food waste

– grit or screenings from sewage treatment systems that have been dewatered so that the grit or screenings do not contain free liquids

– any mixture of the wastes referred to above.


General solid waste examples (non-putrescible) – definition


The following general waste examples(other than special waste, liquid waste, hazardous waste, restricted solid waste or general solid waste (putrescible)) are pre-classified as ‘general solid waste (non-putrescible)’:

–  glass (see blog on glass recycling), plastic, rubber, plasterboard, ceramics, bricks, concrete or metal

– paper or cardboard

– household waste from municipal clean-up that does not contain food waste

– waste collected by, or on behalf of, local councils from street sweepings

– grit, sediment, litter and gross pollutants collected in, and removed from, stormwater treatment devices and/or stormwater management systems, that has been dewatered so that they do not contain free liquids

– grit and screenings from potable water and water reticulation plants that has been dewatered so that it does not contain free liquids

– garden waste

– wood waste

– waste contaminated with lead (including lead paint waste) from residential premises or educational or child care institutions, containers, previously containing dangerous goods, from which residues have been removed by washing and or vacuuming

– drained oil filters (mechanically crushed), rags and oil-absorbent materials that only contain non-volatile petroleum hydrocarbons and do not contain free liquids

– drained motor oil containers that do not contain free liquids

– non-putrescible vegetative waste from agriculture, silviculture or horticulture

– building cavity dust waste removed from residential premises or educational or child care institutions, being waste that is packaged securely to prevent dust emissions and direct contact

– synthetic fibre waste (from materials such as fibreglass, polyesters and other plastics) being waste that is packaged securely to prevent dust emissions, but excluding asbestos waste

– virgin excavated natural material

– building and demolition waste

– asphalt waste (including asphalt resulting from road construction and waterproofing works)

– biosolids categorised as unrestricted use, or restricted use 1, 2 or 3, in accordance with the criteria set out in the Biosolids Guidelines (EPA 2000)

– cured concrete waste from a batch plant

– fully cured and set thermosetting polymers and fibre-reinforcing resins

– fully cured and dried residues of resins, glues, paints, coatings and inks

– any mixture of the general waste examples referred to above.

There are numerous solutions for general waste examples as above that can help you divert waste from landfill, avoid levies and help the environment. In this way, check out our blogs on plastic recycling or waste management plans.


See our recent blog on the Chinese language business community in rubbish collection Sydney.