Food service businesses produce waste like cooking oil, grease, fats and food solids. If this waste goes directly to the sewer system, it can cause blockages, sewer overflows and damage to the environment.

To control this risk, food service businesses are usually required to install a grease arrestor (grease trap) and hold a Trade Waste Approval.

Do I need a Trade Waste Approval?

All businesses that prepare food must hold a Trade waste approval before discharging wastewater to sewer. Food service businesses include:
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Restaurant/hotel/motel/bar/nightclub
  • Fast food outlet/ takeaway food shop
  • Fish and chip shop/pizza shop
  • Cafe/canteen/cafeteria
  • Coffee shop/sandwich shop
  • Bakery/butcher/delicatessen
  • Ice cream shop/doughnut shop 
  • School or tertiary institution kitchen/canteen/cafeteria
  • Community hall kitchen

Do I need a grease arrestor?

Trade waste officers assess whether a grease arrestor (pre-treatment device) is required based on the scale and type of activities being undertaken.  In general, food service businesses that cook on site or wash fats, oils and grease into the sewer require a grease arrestor.  Refer to our Guideline to basic pre-treatment requirements for information about which food service businesses require grease arrestors.

How to maintain grease arrestors

Trade Waste Approval holders must maintain their grease arrestors in accordance with Trade waste approval conditions.  Adequately sized grease arrestors must be serviced (pumped out) in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations or at least once every 13 weeks, unless otherwise specified within the Trade Waste Approval.  

If a premises has under-sized or inadequate grease arrestors, such as those with a treatment capacity less than 550 litres, the owner may be required to:

  • service the unit more frequently; and
  • install a dry basket arrestor (strainer) with a fixed screen or an automatic closing mechanism to all connected sink and floor drains. 

Grease arrestor maintenance must be arranged with a waste handler properly licensed to transport regulated waste in accordance with the Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Regulation 2000.  

After servicing your grease arrestor, the waste transporter will provide you with a regulator (EHP) approved Waste Transport Certificate or docket. These certificates or dockets must be retained at your premises. 


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Contact us

Call us on 13 26 57 (7am – 7pm weekdays) and ask to speak with a trade waste officer or contact us via our