Waste levy should increase, council says

Publish Date : 05 Jul 2017
Waste to landfill

Auckland Council has welcomed an industry report that advocates for a gradual increase of the national waste levy.

Currently, a $10 levy is paid per tonne of waste sent to some landfills. The amount raised by the levy is distributed by the Ministry for the Environment for waste minimisation projects.

The ministry is currently reviewing the levy and how the money gathered annually is distributed. Auckland receives about $6 million per year.

Wasted opportunities

Auckland Council took part in the report A Wasted Opportunity [PDF], released on 3 July, which is timed to coincide with the ministry’s review.

The report looks at a number of scenarios and advocates for an eventual increase in the levy to $140 per tonne of waste sent to landfill, to create a step change. The money raised could then be directed at providing more infrastructure to support waste minimisation, and more recycling.

"Auckland is strongly focused on minimising waste sent to landfill, so the council is supportive of a gradual increase of the levy," says Ian Stupple, the General Manager of Waste Solutions.

"A high waste levy has been implemented overseas to reduce waste to landfill – with great success. The levy would need to be gradually increased over several years to allow the waste industry, businesses and councils to respond appropriately."

The report concludes that a gradual increase in the levy over the next eight years would divert 3 million tonnes of waste per year from landfill, create 9000 jobs, and have a net benefit to New Zealand of $500 million.

Recycling more and reducing waste

“We believe increasing the levy will also support our communities to recycle more and minimise waste to landfill," Ian says.

“We know that 93 per cent of Aucklanders see waste as an important issue and are supportive of waste minimisation and recycling.”

"More composting programmes and community recycling centres are being rolled out across the region so we can drive our Zero Waste by 2040 goal.”

Ian Stupple appeared on TVOne’s Breakfast to talk about the report. View the interview here.

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