Waste – Disposal

Transfer to authorised collectors/processors

Persons/companies are legally obliged to transfer waste to a party authorised to collect or process waste when they are not authorised to process waste lawfully. The same applies for persons/companies that are authorised to process waste accordingly but are not able to do so. This transfer must be done promptly enough to ensure that public interests are not negatively affected. 


In general, these rules also apply for persons/companies from other countries, e.g. EU Member States who are active in Austria.

Waste must be transferred to a party authorised to collect or process waste for collection or treatment at least once every 36 months and in any case so  as not to prejudice public interest.

Small businesses in particular (e.g. offices) will generally only produce municipal waste. In this case, the waste can be disposed of in exactly the same way as household waste. The communal removal of municipal waste is regulated by federal province law and differs from province to province.


Waste may generally only be transferred to parties that are authorised to collect or process this waste, i.e. only to collectors or processor that have a  special permit as per the Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz  or to to such transferees who are expressly exempted from permits by the Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz (e.g. "permit-free transferees"). Records must be kept regarding the transfers of waste.

Companies that process their own waste in their own facilities must make a report to the governor (annual waste balance).

Please note

The hazardous waste generated in the company is considered to be problematic material  if comparable in terms of the type and quantity with the hazardous waste usually generated in private households. Only in this case it can also be handed over as a problematic material to the municipality's problematic material collection centre.

Take-back of waste by trade

The obligation to transfer is also fulfilled if waste is returned to those legal entities (traders) from whom it was  purchased as (part of the) goods.

As a take-back firm that does not require permission, the trader does not require any special entitlement to transfer the waste if they meet the following conditions:

  • they deliver goods commercially and take back waste from these or similar goods in order to deliver them to an authorised waste collector, i.e. they do not process the collected waste themselves and
  • they sell goods commercially and only prepare this waste for reuse (e.g. cleaning, repair). 
  • the quantity of hazardous waste taken back is not disproportionately greater than the quantity of goods delivered over in both of the above cases. They must keep a record relating to this and present this to the administrative authority if requested to do so.


The waste taken back must only be transferred by the party taking back the waste (trader) to authorised persons . In the case of hazardous waste, the accompanying document must also be observed.

In the case of preparation for reuse by a permit-exempt take-back firm, the latter must report waste balances on the waste prepared for reuse.

Responsibility for the full recovery or disposal of the waste

Waste holders must transfer the waste to an authorised person. An authorised person is a waste collector or waste processor for the collection or processing of the waste type in question. In addition, the waste holder must explicitly instruct them to recover or dispose of this waste in an environmentally friendly manner. If these conditions are not met, the waste holder continues to bear responsibility for the waste and can be tasked with a processing contract as the obliged entity.

Please note

By requesting to view details in the public register on edm.gv.at , the waste holder can ensure that the waste collector or waste processor has the relevant entitlement. Alternatively, inquiries can be made with the competent authority. It must be possible to provide documentary evidence of the instruction of environmentally friendly recovery or environmentally friendly disposal; this can be done by way of a written contract, for example.

Further links

  • edm.gv.at ( BMK)German text
    (including a search for registered waste collectors and processors, as well as locations).

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 22 January 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology

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