Trade waste

Trade waste is commercial and industrial liquid waste that is disposed of through the Christchurch City Council sewerage system, e.g. discharge from restaurants, takeaway outlets, food processors, metal finishers, service stations, and chemical manufacturers. Trade waste does not include wastewater from toilets or bathrooms. 

The increasing number of commercial and industrial operations results in a significant increase in the amount of trade waste discharged through the sewer network. Trade waste is not necessarily toxic but can be harmful if discharged directly into the sewer without first having problem substances removed. Such substances can:

  • harm people's health and safety as well as the environment
  • corrode or block sewer pipes
  • create odours
  • put extra demands on treatment at the wastewater treatment plant.

Transferring ownership

Trade waste consents are non-transferable. The existing owner should inform the trade waste team of their intention to sell the business so consent can be cancelled. The new owner will need to apply via the normal process.

Trade waste schedule of rates and charges

Fees and charges relating to trade waste


Information for business about what happens if unpermitted discharges occur.

Consent and registration to discharge

All businesses that produce liquid trade waste and discharge to the sewer system must apply for a consent or registration to discharge.

Wastewater pre-treatment

Preliminary treatment of trade waste to remove or reduce harmful substances may need to occur before discharging into the public sewer.

Monitoring trade waste

Sampling is normally carried out for businesses with discharge volumes of more than 1,245m³ per annum.