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Waste Levies across Australia and their Impact of Skip Bin Hire Costs

News > Waste Levies across Australia and their Impact of Skip Bin Hire Costs

Waste Levies

2023 Waste Taxes and their Effect on Skip Bin Prices

Waste levy charges, or landfill levies, are fees imposed on waste disposed of in landfills with the aim of discouraging landfilling and promoting alternative waste management practices. The exact levy charges can vary between Australian states and territories and within in them..

Here are an insight on waste levy charges in certain states from recent publications:

  • New South Wales (NSW): In NSW, waste levy rates vary depending on the location between metropolitan area and Regional Levy Areas. As of July 1, 2023, the levy rate in metropolitan areas is $163.20 per tonne, while in regional areas, it is $94.00 per tonne1.
  • Queensland (QLD): In QLD, the waste levy rates are also differentiated based on the category of waste and the area. For example, the levy rate for municipal solid waste is $105 per tonne, while for regulated (or hazardous) waste, the rates vary depending on the category, ranging from $105 to $155 per tonne.
  • Victoria (VIC): In VIC, waste levies are known as landfill levies. As of July 1, 2023, the waste levy rate for metropolitan areas is $129.70 per tonne, while for non-metropolitan areas, it is $113.69 per tonne..

It is important to note that waste levy charges can undergo changes over time, and the rates mentioned here are indicative and subject to updates. For specific and up-to-date information on waste levy charges in each Australian state, it is recommended to consult the respective state government or environmental authorities responsible for waste management.

Effect on Skip Bins Prices

The effect of Waste Levies (or Taxes) on the price of Skip Bins is not insignificant. Where the price of a skip bins is set based primaruly on the disposal of heavy waste the prices increases that have been seen in New South Wales are really very significant. The driver for this is the total cost of disposal for the waste. For example for a 6 cubic meter bin it can contain upto 8 tonnes of waste.  The introduction of the waste llevy has a two fold effect on the cost of disposal for skip bins:

  1. The first impact is the direct cost of the waste levy, that means that for a 6 cubic meter bin containing 8 tonnes of waste the disposal facility will be required to pay the NSW government $1,297.20 for the waste levy alone.
  2. The 2nd effect at the disposal facility is that they see there is a significant value associated with the cost of the disposal and they realise that is the governnment can collect $129.20 per tonne then they should be able to collect a higher charge for not only disposing of the waste material but also for acting as the rent collector on behalf og the NSW government. The has been observed all around the country. For example in Queensland prior to waste levies being introduced tipping rates were $0 to $50 dolars a tonne. Then when the waste levy of  $85 was introduced the landfill charges increase to match at least what State Government were collecting. Overall rates lept to $160 a tonne
  3. Another effect of the increasing cost of disposal is that waste business need to increase their gross margins to cover the credit risk of not being paid for their services. Governments do not provide any releif when customers are unable to afford to pay bills or go out of business.

Australian Resource Recovery Rates

According to the National Waste Report 2022 by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, resource recovery rates varied among the Australian states for the year 2020-21. South Australia had the highest recovery rate of 80% followed by the Australian Capital Territory at 69%, while Queensland had the lowest at 40%[^1, ^2].

The report also showed that on a national scale, Australia's resource recovery rate (recycling, waste reuse, and energy recovery) for 2020-21 was 63% and the recycling rate was 60%1.

It's important to note that various factors such as the availability and accessibility of waste recovery facilities, population densities, and waste management policies can influence resource recovery rates, which can differ among individual states in Australia.

International Comparison of Resource Recovery Rates

When examining resource recovery rates in Australia, it is important to compare them internationally in order to assess the country's performance in this area.

In comparison to Germany, the leader in resource recovery with a recovery rate of 88%, Australia falls significantly behind with a recovery rate of only 57% (source). This disparity highlights the need for improvements in Australia's resource recovery efforts. Moreover, when comparing Australia to countries like the United States and Japan, which have recovery rates of 82% and 80% respectively (source), it is clear that Australia has room for growth in this regard. Additionally, when considering resource recovery on a global scale, it is evident that Australia's recovery rate of 57% falls below that of China, which has a recovery rate of just 5% (source). These statistics highlight the relatively lower resource recovery rate in Australia compared to other developed countries, particularly Germany, the United States, Japan, and even China. When examining the international resource recovery rates, it is apparent that Australia's recovery rate of 57% is lower compared to other developed countries. The disparities in resource recovery rates among countries can be attributed to various factors such as technological advancements, knowledge, and economic viability. The utilization of CDW resources, for example, varies significantly between countries.

One factor that may contribute to the lower recovery rate in Australia is the limited resources allocated to comprehensive recovery care services (source). While there is international recognition of the need for such services


  • Authored By:Stephen Shergold
  • Updated:16/09/2023