Govt releases review of waste disposal levyEnvironment
Environment Minister Amy Adams has released a review into the effectiveness of the waste disposal levy, which makes recommendations to improve fairness in the way the levy is applied and to increase the amount of information available about waste and recycling in New Zealand.
The $10 per tonne waste disposal levy was introduced in 2009 under the Waste Minimisation Act (WMA) and applies to waste landfilled at defined facilities.
The Environment Minister is required to review the levy’s effectiveness every three years.
This year’s review focussed on whether the levy is being applied fairly and correctly, and what needs to be done to ensure a level playing field for those paying the levy.
It also assessed the impact that levy funding is having on achieving waste minimisation.
“The review shows many aspects of the levy are working well but there are some areas where we can make improvements,” Ms Adams says.
“One area of concern is the limited amount of waste data we have access to, which makes it difficult to measure long term trends in waste disposal. The report recommends we improve the quantity and quality of our information.
“To start this process, the Government will invite tenders for a waste survey to quantify the volume and composition of waste disposed of to landfills not covered by the levy, including commercial fills and farm dumps.
“If we know how much and what type of waste is being disposed of, and where it is going, the Government will be in a much better position to achieve waste minimisation and protect people and the environment from the risk of harm. We can also direct levy funding to the places it is most needed.”
In addition to the waste survey, Ms Adams has approved a $97,500 grant from the Waste Minimisation Fund for the development of a national waste data framework.
The framework will identify the most important data that should be captured and develop standard definitions to ensure waste is being measured consistently.
The Waste Management Institute of New Zealand will lead the project and work with a range of stakeholders, including councils, recyclers, disposal facility operators and industry.
The programme will also identify the best way for that data to be captured and will inform decisions the Government might need to make on data management systems or regulation of waste data collection.
Ms Adams also announced further funding for data projects involving specific waste products.
“Good data is critical for effective long-term decision-making but there are also some areas where detailed information is needed for work the Government is currently undertaking.
“That is why I have agreed to a $100,000 grant from the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) for a detailed cost-benefit analysis of options for tyre disposal and recycling.
“A further $170,000 will be provided from the WMF to improve information on the electrical and electronic equipment sector, and the associated recycling industry. These projects will complement the recent consultation on potential priorities for product stewardship.”
The waste levy review is available at: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/waste-disposal-levy/review-waste-disposal-levy.html.