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Trade waste

Trade waste is any liquid waste that is discharged to Tauranga City Council’s wastewater system from industrial or business premises.

This includes any waste water derived from a production process, washing down or cooling practices, but does not include domestic sewage (toilet, bath and sink waste) or uncontaminated surface water and roof drainage (rainwater). 

The difference between stormwater and wastewater is that stormwater discharges to waterways, while wastewater is fully treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant before being discharged.

It is very important that stormwater is not directed into the wastewater system, and that wastewater and trade waste are not directed into the stormwater system as this can significantly affect both public health and the environment.

Why do we control trade waste?

Unlike domestic sewage, trade effluent is highly variable in terms of composition, strength and volume and may contain substances that present a risk to people, our wastewater system network, treatment processes and the environment. Trade effluent controls are in place to reduce these risks to acceptable levels and ensure that our network and treatment processes are not overloaded. Problem substances can be harmful if not removed before entering the network. Trade effluent cannot be discharged without a consent, doing so constitutes a criminal offence. 

Trade waste can contain pollutants like sediment, grease, oils and chemicals, which have entered the discharge water during industrial processes. When these pollutants enter the wastewater system, they can block pipes, cause overflows and damage the wastewater network, placing both public health and the environment at risk. By minimising the pollutants in trade waste, you can protect the health of the public and the environment. 

A trade waste consent identifies:

  • the volume of wastewater that is permitted to be discharged 
  • the nature and characteristics of that discharge
  • if any type of pre-treatment is required prior to discharging to our network 
  • the service and maintenance requirements

Who needs a consent? 

If you are a commercial, industrial, manufacturing or trade business that is producing more liquid waste than that of a large household (more than 5m3 per day), and/or may contain substances with composition or strength that may be harmful to the wastewater system, you will need to apply for a trade waste consent.

A new consent may be required when:

  1. you are a new business/activity and need to discharge into the wastewater system any trade waste (either continuously, intermittently or temporarily); or
  2. you are an existing business/activity and will be varying the characteristics of a discharge where a consent has previously been granted 

Businesses that may be affected include:

  • Food processing/retail premises
  • Process/manufacturing operations
  • Chemical processing/production
  • Waste management services
  • Service station/car wash
  • Laundromat/dry cleaners
  • Leachate/landfill wastes

How do I apply?

Please complete the application form.  

For help with the application or for more information, please email tradewaste@tauranga.govt.nz or phone 07 577 7000.

What is the process for approval?

  1. A trade waste consent application is completed.
  2. A Trade Waste Officer will assess your application and will come back to you if they require further information or an on-site inspection.
  3. You will be advised of next steps to ensure all requirements are met prior to the granting of a consent to discharge trade waste. This will vary but may include any or all the following:
  • Installation of appropriate pre-treatment equipment
  • Initiating a programme for ongoing monitoring of your trade waste discharge, and maintenance of your pre-treatment equipment. 

What are the fees?

Trade waste fees are set by Tauranga City Council under the Trade Waste Bylaw and are renewed annually.

Trade waste fees

Trade Waste Bylaw

Trade waste bylaw (214kb pdf)


Last Reviewed: 22/04/2020

Want to discuss further?

For help with the application or for more information, please email tradewaste@tauranga.govt.nz or phone 07 577 7000.

Tauranga City Council, Private Bag 12022, Tauranga, 3143, New Zealand  |  Terms of use  |  Site map

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