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Trade waste

What is 'trade waste'?

Trade waste is any liquid which is discharged from industrial or business premises to Waikato District Council wastewater system. We require that these properties obtain approved trade waste consent prior to discharge. 

A trade waste consent will outline the treatment processes required prior to discharge into the wastewater network.

It is very important that stormwater is not directed into the wastewater system. It is equally important that wastewater and trade waste are not directed into the stormwater system as this can significantly affect both people's health and our environment.

Stormwater and wastewater systems are very different.

  1. Stormwater discharges directly to waterways.
  2. Wastewater is fully treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant before being discharged to the receiving environment.

Find out more about our wastewater system, including more on stormwater and septic tanks.

Water supply and wastewater are two infrastructure considerations you need to consider in relation to obtaining consents when developing land, building or renovating. Find out more in land and property.

Application for trade waste discharge

Any business which discharges wastewater into our Council’s wastewater system may need to apply and have approved trade waste consent from Council before discharging to the wastewater system. See the application form at the bottom of this page - or pick up one from your local Waikato District Council office.

Your trade waste consent application should be submitted to Waikato Trade Waste (see below for details). After that, our Trade Waste team will assess your application and provide assistance to ensure all requirements are met prior to granting an approval to discharge trade waste to the wastewater system.

Here are the main points covered in the Waikato District Council Trade Waste Bylaw 2008 (see bylaw document below for full details):

  1. Establishment of the three categories of trade waste: permitted, conditional or prohibited.
  2. Establishment of specific criteria and uniform requirements for evaluating applications.  
  3. Installation of flow meters, samplers or other devices to measure flow of discharges.
  4. Sampling and monitoring to ensure discharges meet with criteria.
  5. Fees and charges.

    Waikato Trade Waste

    On October 1, 2020, we joined with Watercare Services Limited for trade waste services. A key aim is to deliver integrated, sustainable and well-managed services that also protect and enhance the environment.

    As a result of this partnership – which was developed for the wider 3 waters services – trade waste customers should receive a smooth transition and a streamlined and efficient business model.

    For Council, the benefits include improved compliance and monitoring, and an effective user pays approach to trade waste.

    For more information about Waikato Trade Waste, please phone 0800 492 452 or email

    Improving trade waste quality

    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.

    What can you do to help?

    Think about what goes down the sink. The way your business treats waste affects everybody.

    Everything that is put down the drain requires transport and treatment. The greasy waste produced in industrial processes can lead to blockages that can create overflows of wastewater into the environment. By producing less waste, your business can save money on trade waste charges and reduce pump outs of your grease traps.

    Your business can help by:

    • disposing of greasy waste and food scraps into the rubbish bin
    • never putting oil down the sink
    • training staff on why it is important to keep fats, oils and grease out of drains and sewers
    • installing and maintaining grease traps/grease interceptors
    • arranging waste oil to be collected by a licensed waste contractor

    For industrial companies, it is important to ensure that only clean rainwater enters the stormwater drains on or near the premises. Your business can help by:

    • immediately cleaning all spills and leaks
    • prevent wash water from entering the stormwater drains
    • ensuring contaminated areas are bunded and wastewater is directed to the sewers

    Grease traps

    The purpose of a grease trap is to prevent food scraps, oils and grease entering the wastewater system.

    Fats and oils solidify and rise to the top and solids sink to the bottom, reducing the amounts of these substances that enter the wastewater system. The grease trap must be cleaned out regularly to remove the build up of grease and solids that occurs over time.  

    If regular cleaning is not maintained, grease traps can flood without warning, which could be unsafe to the public and the environment.


    Bylaws, policies & strategies