Waste Levy FAQ
Is there a new waste levy?
Yes, the Queensland Government has from 1st July 2019 introduced a waste levy of $75 for every tonne of waste that Council buries at landfill. The levy will increase $5/tonne each year.
What is the purpose of the waste levy?
The waste levy aims to:
- reduce the amount of waste going to landfill
- encourage waste avoidance
- provide a source of funding to enable better resource recovery practices
- provide certainty and security of feedstocks for advanced technology
- facilitate industry investment in resource recovery infrastructure.
How is the levy collected?
Council will pay the levy to the Queensland Government based on the amount of waste disposed of to landfill. That means that Council will pay $75/tonne for every tonne sent to landfill. Approximately 6,000 tonnes of waste is landfilled across the North Burnett each year.
Can Council reduce the amount of waste buried to landfill?
Yes and by doing so, Council can reduce the amount payable to the Queensland Government. Council currently diverts eWaste, green waste, scrap steel, engine oil, and car batteries from landfill. Cardboard is recycled from some towns where a market is close by. Transport and labour costs associated with handling and baling cardboard in some locations such as Monto actually makes a financial loss. Council is exploring opportunities for both cardboard and plastics where the cost to recover those resources provides income or is cost neutral.
Why doesn't Council have kerbside recycling?
Kerbside recycling requires significant operational costs to collect, sort, bale and transport materials. Council does not have the economies of scale (population and waste volume) to make kerbside recycling financially viable. Many Council’s also experience high contamination rates with residents simply using the bin as a second waste service. Accordingly, Council does consider drop-off recycling stations at landfills as a sustainable alternative.
How will the levy impact households?
The Queensland Government has committed to ensuring the levy will have no direct impact on households. To deliver this, Councils will receive annual payments to offset the costs of the waste levy. Unfortunately, this assistance is not guaranteed after 2022.
Will the levy increase kerbside collection costs or landfill fees?
No, not in the interim. Council will continue to provide free household waste for the first cubic meter (i.e. 4 x wheelie bins). Kerbside collection will increase with CPI. Rates together with fees and charges are reviewed each year.
How will the levy impact local business?
Council has decided to maintain commercial garbage rates and landfill fees similar to last year. Although many Councils are passing on the levy to commercial customers, Council is aware that opportunities for business to recycle are limited.
What has Council done to prepare for the levy?
The Queensland Government has amended legislation increasing the level of compliance for landfill operators. Council now has to measure, record and report waste sent to landfill together with information about recyclables diverted through resource recovery areas. Council has:
- Constructed a new weighbridge at Mundubbera (with 100% funding subsidy)
- Introduced new waste software system
- Reduced licenced waste thresholds at other landfills (to avoid weighbridge and measuring requirements in the long term)
- Nominated resource recovery areas at landfill sites including planned barriers
- Planned volumetric survey of Mundubbera landfill and resource recover area
- Source 60% funding to construct waste transfer stations across the region over two years
What does Council's Landfill Levy have to do with the Waste Levy?
Council’s Landfill Levy is separate to the Waste Levy and was introduced several years ago to offset landfill operational costs and to enable closure of sites that will require monitoring and maintenance for up the 30 years as per licence conditions.
Will waste cost more in the future?
Very likely. The levy together with landfill compliance costs are likely to increase in coming years. Council will review its Waste Strategy this year providing an opportunity to explore community expectations on waste. Council will endeavour to determine fees and charges in consideration with its long term financial plan and community expectations.
Who can I contact or where can I get further information?
Contact Council’s Environmental Services team or visit https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/disposal-levy/about/overview