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Trade waste is generally considered to be the liquid matter that’s discharged to a sewer from commercial and industrial processes.

Trade waste is regulated to:

  • protect people’s health
  • minimise impact on the environment
  • prevent damage to our pipes and infrastructure
  • prevent disruptions to our water and sewer processes


To discharge trade waste you need to enter into a Trade Waste Agreement and meet the Trade Waste Acceptance Criteria (PDF 129KB).

To enter into a Trade Waste Agreement, complete the appropriate application form:

You'll need in-depth information about:

  • your business
  • the trade waste you plan to discharge
  • trade waste equipment

Submit the form by mail or email.

Our trade waste program has a risk-based, three-tiered classification system. 

Customers are classified as either minor, medium or major. 

Trade waste customers are assigned to their classification based on sampling results, wastewater volume and business type.

1. Commercial (minor) trade waste

Examples of commercial trade waste customers are:

  • take away and fast food outlets
  • cafes and restaurants
  • canteens and cafeterias
  • bakeries
  • delicatessens
  • butchers
  • ice-creameries
  • supermarkets
  • caterers
  • school science laboratories
  • hotels and motels
  • function centres with commercial kitchens
  • laundromats

For tips on how to dispose of commercial trade waste, see our:

2. Commercial (medium) trade waste

Examples of commercial (medium) trade waste customers are:

  • electroplating 
  • justice precincts 
  • hospitals 
  • nursing homes 
  • poultry farming 
  • commercial laundries

3. Industrial (major) trade waste

Examples of industrial trade waste customers are:

  • food manufacturers
  • sale yards
  • abattoirs
  • textile manufacturers

You may need a pre-treatment device, such as a grease trap, installed before you can apply to be a trade waste customer.

Pre-treatment devices trap solids, oil and grease before they enter our sewer system. The type of device you need depends on your business and the amount of trade waste produced.

Our Installation of a Grease Interceptor (PDF 98KB) fact sheet explains what's involved to install and maintain a grease trap.

To get help choosing the best device for your business, contact us.

The Trade Waste Customer Charter (PDF 2.79MB) details rights and responsibilities for managing trade waste. Our charter is approved by the Essential Services Commission (ESC).

We use the ESC's Victorian Trade Waste Customer Service Code (PDF 92KB) for consistent and transparent decision making for trade waste management.

New non-compliance fees apply for minor and medium customers as of 1 July, 2023. 

These have been introduced for trade waste customers who remain non-compliant.

We will work with non-compliant customers directly and assist them to rectify any issues before imposing these charges. 

For trade waste charges, see fees and charges.

Industrial or commercial properties that use harmful substances need to install a backflow prevention device. This protects the water supply from contamination.

See backflow prevention for more information.

We encourage our trade waste customers to be aware of laws from the Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Last updated on 01 Sep 2023
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