April 19, 2022
Tasmania has joined other Australian states in passing legislation for a state-wide landfill levy. Its aim is to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill whilst also developing the state’s waste and recovery sectors by encouraging investment in alternatives.
Working alongside the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, the newly passed Waste and Resource Recovery Act 2022 is driven by one of the principles of the circular economy. That is, to keep products and materials in use by recovering resources before they are sent to landfill so they can be reprocessed and reused for the benefit of the economy and the environment.
Starting on the 1 July 2022, the landfill levy will be imposed on landfill operators and require them to pay a fee per tonne of waste collected. This will be on top of the ‘gate fee’ that is already charged by landfill operators for operation costs. The costs from the levy will most likely be passed along to their customers such as households and businesses.
For landfill operators, the introduction of the landfill levy will be staggered over four years and provide a revenue stream for government to develop the waste sector and its facilities. Landfill operators can claim a rebate on their levy fees by diverting the waste they receive to appropriate resource recovery facilities.
Households and businesses can avoid the impact of the levy by sorting their waste to salvage recyclable materials and finding an appropriate recycling facility for those items rather than sending them to landfill. Grants have also been approved to support the development of resource recovery facilities and thereby reduce the burden on the waste sector as it adapts to the legislation.
The Tasmanian Waste Levy Impact Study 2020 found a landfill levy would provide more positive benefits for the waste sector and the community than maintaining the current status quo. It predicted the levy would create an estimated 130 new jobs within the Tasmanian recovery resource sector and reduce waste to landfill by an estimated 210,000 tonnes per year by 2030.
The main takeaway from the Waste and Resource Recovery Act 2022 is that much of the waste currently being sent to landfill can still be reused, recycled, or diverted to various resource recovery facilities. The new Tasmanian landfill levy provides an incentive to learn about the various methods of waste disposal and to develop a more effective environmental solution for our waste.
Find out how to recover your business waste through reuse and recycling at Business Recycling.
The Tasmanian government is calling for Expressions of Interest for the Board established under the Waste and Resource Recovery Act 2022. It will play a major role in advising government on the direction for waste management, resource recovery, and the circular economy in Tasmania. The EOI process will close on Sunday, 1 May 2022.
For more information about the Waste and Resource Recovery Board and how to apply here.
Nick joined Planet Ark in 2021 coming from a background of graphic design and marketing communications. A self-described “jack-of-all-trades’, Nick likes to channel his helpful nature and enthusiasm for change in all aspects of life from his social life and work to his community volunteering.