Yarra Valley Water


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What is trade waste?

It is against the law for a food business to discharge to the sewer without a Trade Waste Agreement and without the appropriate grease trap.

An agreement outlines the requirements your business must meet to comply with trade waste legislation. Plus, it helps us manage the impacts of food business waste on the sewer network.

Any water that is used when preparing or cooking food, cleaning dishes or washing the kitchen that goes down the drain is classified as trade waste and needs to be treated before entering the sewer system.

A grease trap is a plumbing appliance that filters fats, oils and food solids from going down the drain into the sewerage system and stores it in a tank so that it can be pumped out later. All food businesses producing trade waste are required to install a grease trap.

The Trade Waste Lifecycle

In a food business of any sort, the typical trade waste journey looks like this:

trade waste life cycle
  1. Food businesses produce trade waste from food preparation areas - mainly the kitchen.
  2. Grease trap separates fats, water and food solids
    Waste water enters the grease trap. As the waste water cools, the fat, oil, solids and grease (FOG) harden and the food solids settle. The FOG, being lighter than water, floats to the top of the grease trap and is stored to be cleaned and pumped out at a later date. A grease trap filters the majority of FOG, but it does not remove all of the waste.
  3.  Grease Trap Maintenance
    Waste in the grease trap is classified as prescribed waste and needs to be disposed of correctly. It is illegal to empty grease traps yourself. Read more about grease trap maintenance.
  4. Trade waste and greywater enter sewerage system
    All of the waste water from your property is taken away by Yarra Valley Water to be treated at a wastewater treatment plant.

Apply for a Trade Waste Agreement  Trade Waste - Fact Sheet (61KB)