Waste management in South Australia

South Australia protects the environment by regulating the:

  • disposal
  • transport
  • treatment
of industrial waste through the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Food producers and manufacturers are required to comply with the legislation. Across the state, South Australia has a commitment to reducing the waste that enters landfill and promoting safe resource recovery.


The EPA regulates the waste and resource recovery industry through the provisions of the Environment Protection Act 1993 (the Act). In addition, the EPA has specific powers in relation to conditions of approval for activities that require approval under the Development Act 1993

The legislation aims to:

  • prevent, minimise or eliminate harm to the environment as far as possible
  • outline the responsibilities of a person when undertaking an activity that may pollute the environment
  • monitor and regulate activities of environmental significance. 


The EPA licenses businesses that either pollute or have the potential to pollute the environment.

This pollution may include:

  • the production or transport of solid or liquid waste
  • noise
  • emissions to air or water
  • the production of heat.
EPA licences are required for:

  • a range of animal husbandry
  • food processing
  • processing animal and plant products
  • waste management.

Get more licence information on the EPA website.

Waste and resource recovery

South Australia’s Strategic Plan sets a target of reducing waste to landfill by 35% by 2020.

The state government is using the Waste Strategy 2015-2020 to encourage businesses to avoid producing waste in the first place. Businesses are encouraged to:

  • reduce
  • re-use
  • recycle
  • recover
waste when it can't be avoided. 

The EPA must have regard to the waste management objective when assessing any licence application (or renewal) or commenting upon a referred development application.  

Business is encouraged to pursue cost-effective practices that avoid or reduce waste or support its safe recycling or other recovery.

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Jul 2016
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