Queensland’s New Waste Disposal Levy – Everything you need to know

In recent years there has been a concerted effort by Queensland communities, businesses and local government alike to lower our carbon footprint. Queensland’s new waste disposal levy is a part of this effort aiming to significantly lower landfill, create jobs and encourage recycling.

What is the waste disposal levy?

A waste disposal levy is a tax applied to waste by weight. This is designed to incentivise companies and organisations to reduce their waste and increase diversion through recycling. This levy will be very similar to the ones already in place in NSW, ACT, WA, Vic and SA.

In most cases, this levy will be used to fund environmental and sustainability programs to improve waste management. This will be the case with the Queensland levy.

The disposal levy will be bought into effect as part of a bill that was introduced to the Queensland Parliment following the consideration of over 100 submissions on the Transforming Queensland’s Recycling and Waste Industry.

How will the waste disposal levy work?

From July 2019 the starting levy for most waste will be $75 per tonne. This includes materials such as construction and demolition waste, commercial and industrial waste and municipal solid waste. This cost will be added to the tipping fee or gate fee at a landfill.

There is also a $150 per tonne cost for category 1 regulated waste and $100 per ton cost for category 2 regulated waste.

This cost will increase by $5 per every July from 2020 onwards.

Are there any exemptions to the waste disposal levy?

There will most likely be some exemptions to the levy as well as some discounts. Some of these proposed exemptions will include waste resulting from a natural disaster, certain types of lawfully managed and transported asbestos waste and illegally dumped waste collected by government and councils. This is just to list a few of the proposed exemptions.

Who will the waste disposal levy affect?

Currently, the proposed levy zone includes 38 out of 77 local government areas. This covers around 90 per cent of Queensland’s population and these are the areas that create the most amount of waste in the state.

Those who will be directly affected by the levy are those who have a business which requires waste disposal, notably those in the construction and building business.

The government has made a commitment to make sure this levy has no direct impact on the household.

How can I avoid being affected by the waste disposal levy?

The good news is the effort to limit landfill has also encouraged businesses to develop new ways to recycle and reuse materials. The government is working to prepare the state for the levy by supporting initiatives that provide alternative options to landfill. $5 million has also been invested in local councils to ensure they are ‘levy ready’.

If you want to avoid paying the ever increasing waste levy, you can dispose of specific unwanted building materials such as concrete at Moreton Bay Recycling for free.