Rubbish bins

State Definitions

State Government Definitions of Waste - terms used in the regulation of waste and defined by the Landfill Waste Classification and Waste Definitions 1996


Waste is :

  • any substance that is discarded, emitted or deposited in the environment in such volume, constituency or manner as to cause an alteration in the environment;
  • any discarded, rejected, unwanted, surplus or abandoned substance;
  • any otherwise discarded, rejected, unwanted, surplus or abandoned substance intended for sale or for recycling, reprocessing, recovery, or purification by a separate operation from that which produced the substance;
  • any substance described in regulations under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 as waste.

This document further describes a range of categories of waste.

Clean Fill

Material that will have no harmful effects on the environment and which consists of rocks or soil arising from the excavation of undisturbed material.


Wastes that are largely non-biodegradable, non-flammable and not chemically reactive. Inert
wastes are subdivided into three separate classes:

  • Type 1 - Inert Wastes are as listed below and contain contaminants in concentrations less than the specified criteria.
  • Type 2 - Wastes consisting of non-biodegradable organic materials such as tyres and plastics, which are flammable and require special management to reduce the potential for fires.
  • Type 3 - Waste material from DEP licensed secondary waste treatment plants, subject to appropriate assessment and approval of that waste and the specified landfill.


Component of the waste stream likely to become putrid - including wastes that contain organic materials such as food wastes or wastes of animal or vegetable origin, which readily bio-degrade within the environment of a landfill.


Component of the waste stream which by its characteristics poses a threat or risk to public health, safety or the environment (includes substances which are toxic, infectious, mutagenic, carcinogenic, teratogenic, explosive, flammable, corrosive, oxidising and radioactive. Hazardous wastes are generally unsuitable for landfill disposal and should only be accepted within landfills after appropriate treatment.


Waste that is a management problem by virtue of its toxicity or chemical or physical characteristics which make it difficult to dispose of or treat safely and is not suitable for disposal in a Class I, II, III or IV landfill. Provided there is no practical alternative destruction or treatment technology, these are disposed of in Class V facilities 3.


Includes asbestos wastes and certain types of biomedical wastes that are regarded as hazardous but which, with special management techniques, may be disposed of safely within specified classes of landfill.

  • Type 1 Special Waste - Asbestos Wastes
  • Type 2 Special Waste – Biomedical Wastes


  1. Landfill Waste Classification and Waste Definitions 1996 (Final 2001) Western Australian Department of Environmental Protection.