Requirements for operators in the levy zone

Volumetric surveys

Annual volumetric surveys are required to be carried out at each levyable waste disposal site within the levy zone. The survey must be for each landfill cell where waste has been disposed of since the last volumetric survey, for all stockpiled waste at the site, and for all stockpiled waste within a declared resource recovery area (RRA).

When do surveys need to be conducted?

  • Annual volumetric surveys must be carried out in June each year.

Note: This requirement does not apply to small sites holding an environmental authority to dispose less than 2,000 tonnes of waste per year, until 1 June 2022.

  • Volumetric surveys are also required to be carried out for any new landfill cell before it is used for the first time for disposing of waste to landfill at the site.

When do results need to be reported?

The results of volumetric surveys are to be entered into the Queensland Waste Data System (QWDS) and submitted before the end of July.

For all new landfill cells, the results of the volumetric survey must be submitted to the department before the end of the month immediately following the month that the volumetric survey was carried out.

What information do I need to report?

The operator must ensure that the annual volumetric survey is carried out for:

  • each landfill cell where waste has been disposed of since the last volumetric survey required
  • all stockpiled waste within the levyable part of the site
  • all stockpiled waste within the declared RRA.

A topographical plan of the site is to accompany the survey. It must be signed and certified as accurate by a surveyor registered under the Surveyors Act 2003 and comply with specifications set out in the Guideline: Volumetric surveys under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 (PDF, 1.8 MB) .

Guideline: Volumetric surveys under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011.

This guideline is intended to assist operators of waste disposal sites to prepare and submit volumetric survey results (including topographical plans), in accordance with the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. The guideline provides an attachment that details the step by step process of entering and submitting the results in QWDS.

Please refer to the guideline before submitting the volumetric survey results and topographical plan to the department.

How do I report volumetric survey results?

  • Submitting topographical plan: The required topographical plan of the site and any other relevant attachments are to be submitted by email to
  • Submitting results: The results of volumetric surveys are to be reported in QWDS. When submitting results, you will be required to declare that the information is true and correct, and you must confirm that the required topographical plan has been provided to the department. More information about QWDS.
  • Submission finalised: Automated notification will be provided via QWDS once the department has accepted the topographical plan and the volumetric survey result have been accurately submitted.

Volumetric survey – converting volume to weight guide:

For stockpiled waste you need to report the conversion factor from cubic metres to tonnes. Default conversion factors of commonly stockpiled materials are provided in the table below.

These conversion factors may be used in a volumetric survey for calculation of stockpile weights where site specific information is otherwise not available. These figures have been provided as a general guide to assist site operators, however it is at the discretion of the site operator to select a more appropriate conversion factor for a material where site specific information is available. If an alternative conversion factor is used, you must submit supporting information with your topographical plan.

To calculate tonnes from m3, multiply the conversion factor by the volume (in m3).

Material Default conversion factor - tonnes/m3
Paper 0.2
Cardboard 0.1
Plastics 0.14
Metals - Ferrous 0.5
Metals - Non-ferrous 0.14
Glass 0.35
Concrete 1.5
Bricks 1.2
Soil, sand, clean fill 1.3
Organics - Garden Organics / Green waste 0.15
Organics - Food Organics 0.5
Organics - Timber / Wood 0.19
Rubber/tyres 0.3
Textiles 0.15
Mixed co-mingled recyclables (uncompacted) 0.06
Mixed building waste 0.7
Other / mixed - putrescible 0.3
Other / mixed - inert 1.1
Hazardous Waste(s) Refer to appendix E 'Unit Conversion Factors' of the
Australian Hazardous waste data and reporting standard 2017

References for default conversion factors:

In this guide:

  1. Weighbridge requirements and measurement of waste
  2. Volumetric surveys
  3. Monthly summary data return
  4. Monthly detailed data return
  5. Record keeping
  6. Resource recovery area (RRA)
  7. Levy payment (to the state)
  8. Levy and exemptions and discounts

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