Controlled waste is the most hazardous category of waste and includes those wastes that exhibit toxicity, chemical or biological reactivity, environmental persistence, or the ability to bio-accumulate or enter the food chain. These wastes need to be carefully managed and are closely regulated because of their potential to adversely impact human health and the environment. Some controlled wastes, such as tyres, are not strictly hazardous but they may also need special management.
The EPA has a statutory duty to protect the environment from the effects of controlled waste. Its powers range from requiring organisations to submit controlled waste data reports to enforcing the relevant provisions of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 and other relevant legislation.