Potential levy charge increase for landfills

A proposal for increasing levy charges for landfills in New Zealand was announced on 15th of July by Green Party member and associate minister for the environment, Eugenie Sage.

There is no doubt that Covid -19 slowed down and effected waste organizations and businesses, therefore, Eugenie Sage says the focus for this year’s funding from the waste minimisation fund is now falling on “upgrading waste systems so they are resilient for the future” and working with “10 to 20 projects of strategic importance to waste minimisation as New Zealand responds to Covid-19.”

The result of the proposal is said to bring about more jobs and reduce the large amount of waste going into landfills.

However, the waste minimisation fund retrieves its money from levy charges from landfills, therefore, if the government wants to increase the waste minimisation fund to reduce waste, reuse and recycle more efficiently, the landfill charges will increase for average kiwis.

This means residential rubbish bags and bin costs could increase by 33 cents per bag/bin, going from $2.50 a bag to $2.83 a bag.

Not only that, but the landfill charge would increase from $10 a tonne to $60 a tonne, which means simply taking your rubbish to the tip gets more and more expensive, resulting in the government waste minimisation fund making up to $250 million extra a year up from the already $220 million it already receives.

The definition of the waste minimisation fund is said to provide “funding for projects that promote or achieve waste minimisation” and “helps increase resource efficiency, reuse, recovery and recycling, and decrease waste to landfill.”

The fund money will be spilt, half of the money will go to the local councils to spend “in accordance with their waste management and minimisation plans” while the other half of the money will be managed by the ministry for the environment.

“The purpose of the act is to encourage waste minimisation and a decrease in waste disposal.” – Eugenie Sage.

The new proposal isn’t supported by everyone, the Taxpayers’ Union have said the new proposal is a “revenue grab that will hammer poorer taxpayers.”

While Louis Houlbrook also disapproved saying that it will have a harsh financial impact on bigger households in poorer areas.

However, unless the fund supports new recycling indicatives and finds a new way to recycle ALL recyclable materials locally, not internationally, then the higher taxes for the landfill won’t help reduce waste in the landfill or reduce waste period.



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