Are you ready for the new waste levy?

May 2019

Queensland businesses need to understand the new waste levy which commences on 1 July this year. The re-introduction of the levy for waste disposed into landfill brings Queensland in line with other Australian states and underpins the Queensland Government's new waste management strategy. The purpose of the levy is to decrease the level of interstate waste dumped in Queensland while providing funding to support environmental and resource recovery practices.

Levy zones

The levy is payable within levy zones, comprising 39 local council areas where most of the state's waste is generated and disposed. Levy zones cover all south-east Queensland and affect approximately 90 percent of the state's population.

The levy applies to waste generated inside levy zones or interstate, so any interstate waste brought into Queensland for disposal will attract the levy.

Payment of the levy

The levy is payable by landfill operators, who will in turn pass the charges on to customers.

The State Government will pay rebates to affected local councils to offset the costs of household waste disposal. That means ratepayers should not expect any direct impact for household waste.

Levy rates

From the commencement date, general waste (including domestic, commercial and recyclable waste) will attract a levy of $75 per tonne. The levy will then increase by $5 each financial year.

Levy rates will vary based on the type of waste disposed. Regulated or mixed waste will occur a higher rate than that applied to general waste.

Exemptions

The levy will not apply to the likes of disaster management waste, serious local event waste, asbestos contaminated material, dredge spoil, clean earth or litter and illegally dumped waste collected by government, local councils or forestry plantation licensees.

Exemptions may also be granted for waste collected by charitable or community organisations, disposal of contaminated land or biosecurity waste.

Discounts

Any person conducting a recycling activity may apply for a discount for disposal of recycled residue waste (ie waste from a recycling activity after the recoverable components have been removed). These discounts are designed to incentivise recycling.

What should you do next?

If your business is affected by the new levy, then start preparing by assessing your waste management procedures and policies and ensure you understand the impact of the legislation.

If you have queries about the upcoming waste levy, please contact a member of our Real Estate team.

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