Waste Levies Around Australia

News > Waste Levies Around Australia

It is interesting to watch the waste industry and to see how it operates differently in each of the States across Australia.  One particular area of interest is the amount of waste taxes charged by the state governments on the effect that it has on recycling rates.

New South Wales has lead the charge in Australia for applying and growing the waste tax revenues even if they refer to them as waste levies.  New South Waste have been very adept at demonstrating that it needs more than a vicous streak to drive the growth of recycling. New South Wales started out to encourage recycling but somewhere along the way tthey seem to have lost their way and have just become hell bent on raising general revenue from one small sement of the economy regardless of the impact that it has on the workers relient in that industry segment or the effect of the greater economy.

New South Wales waste levies are now nearly double their nearest competitor but have failed spectacularly to acheive any degree of additional recycling.  What intrigues me, is how can the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) have let this happen?  A free years back it appeared thay there efforts going into recycling Construction and Demolition waste and well as Green waste and other materials.  First the EPA did away with the concept of Green waste, removing it from their ctalogues of waste types.  It is rumour that this was in response to and over abundance of green waste or mulch that was being left on nature strips to the chergrin of local councils. So instead of addressing the underlying issure what to they do? Pretend that there is no such thing as green waste and drive the cost of diposing of it even higher.

But it is not only green waste that the NSW EPA has been targeting to disuade recycling.  In the Construction and Demolition area the NSW EPA have made licencing of C&D sites dependent on the installation of not only weigh-bridges but also video survailence and of the weighbeidge and direct connectivity back to the EPA so they can monitor all recycling facilities. The EPA has also hardened up the terms of recycling plants, so there are limited volumes of recycling storage before waste levies become payable of such recycled marterials. These effectively mean that disposal facilities are charging everyone as if they have contaminated waste just in case they get left holding a EPA bill for excess recycled stock. Rather than reducing the transport of waste intersate this has morely like driven business even futher into transport waste to queensland to minimise stocking holding of recyclable materials rather than pay waste levies to the NSW EPA for them.

The roll on effect is that Queensland's resource recovery acheivements have been driven lower because of inbound waste from the south being sent up to be "recycled".

Meanwhile in Queensland whilst there are waste levies, they are set to zero.  People can still afford to hire a skip bin to get rid of unwanted rubbish. When looking at the volume of recycling this is probably distorted because all off the waste coming from NSW and then going to landfill.

Both South Australia and Victoria have lower waste levies than New South Wales but still have higher recycling rates.  NSW recycling rates are probably lower than claimed because of all of the materials that are going to Queensland as recycling that are not really recycling. This shows that it takes more than just high waste levies to drive recycling and a more coordinate action plan is needed.  South Australia are acheiving recycling levels of 78% even though their levy is only $87.  New South Wales should take a lead from this and drop their levies immediately and look at what really needs to be done to get higher rates of recycling.  Victoria's Landfill tax is less than half of that of New South Wales but they are still getting a higher rate of recycling without sending rubbish to Queensland.

Tasmania is interesting because it only has a voluntary waste levy which is only $5.00 a tonne and yet they are still getting 50% of material recycled. 

Western Australia are recycling in the region of 50% of their rubbish and their waste levy is still only $60 a tonne.

Waste levies and Landfill taxes are something that has a large impact of skip bins prices and hence is a subject that is dear to our hearts, and to many skip bin businesses espeacially in in New South Wales.  The waste levies and landfill taxes are often creating a problem not only for waste companies and skip bin operators but also for builders, those building and renovating homes and those less well off that need to get rid of rubbish.  Just imagine how hard it must be for those living on pensions and benefits to hire a bin when a small 2m bin cost more than your weekly or fortnightly payment.  A 2m mini skip in Melbourne and Sydney and cost $230 and $350 respectively. No wonder there is a growing problem with illegal dumping in these states.

2m mini skip bin in Melbourne
2m mini skip bin in Melbourne 





  • Authored By:Steve Shergold
  • Updated:28/02/2018