Landfill levy to almost double in the next three years

By Anna McGuinness

RATEPAYERS are set to cop rising waste fees as the state government overhauls Victoria’s recycling sector.

The landfill levy paid by Campaspe Shire Council will nearly double over the next three years from $33.3 a tonne to $62.95, as Victoria brings its prices in line with other states.

It’s a part of a $300 million package announced by the Victorian Government last month.

The 10-year plan aims to divert 80 per cent of waste away from landfill by introducing a four-bin recycling system, a container deposit scheme and funding to support businesses to reduce waste and transition to the new system.

Campaspe Shire Council regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said the council pays the regional municipal levy on every tonne of waste accepted at landfill which is currently charged to ratepayers through waste fees and charges.

“The annual increase from $33.03 per tonne in 19/20, to $42.95 per tonne in 20/21, to $52.95 per tonne in 21/22, and $62.95 per tonne in 22/23 will be included in the waste fees and charges each year,” Mr McKenzie said.

“Council is expecting further information in the coming months, until the full details are available and council has had an opportunity to consider all relevant information and its options we are unable to provide further comment.”

Municipal Association of Victoria rural deputy president Ruth Gstrein said the decision to increase the landfill levy isn’t unexpected.

“We don’t want Victoria becoming a dumping ground for waste from interstate simply because it’s cheaper,” she said.

“Our main concern is that the money raised through the levy is invested back into the resource recovery system.

“We anticipate the $129 million funding support for kerbside bin reform will only cover a portion of the implementation costs for councils.

“More funding assistance will be needed to reduce impacts on households.

“It is essential a strong focus remains on avoiding and minimising waste and on developing strong markets for recycled materials.

“We need everyone – government, industry and the community – to think about the impacts of their own purchasing decisions and to understand that to be a good recycler you need to buy and use recycled goods.”

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio also announced $71.4 million to tackle waste crime, with more resources to stop illegal dumping and stockpiling, and deal with high-risk sites and high-risk substances.

“This is the largest package of recycling reforms and investment in Victoria’s history,” she said.

“It will revolutionise household recycling, drive business innovation and create jobs of the future.

“Most importantly, it will give Victorians a truly circular economy and recycling system they can rely on.

“For too long, waste crime has undermined Victoria’s recycling sector with dangerous and illegal stockpiling.

“Our investment will help to clean up the industry and make it fairer for businesses that do the right thing.”

A dedicated Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate will be established within the Environment Protection Authority, which will work closely with WorkSafe Victoria, emergency service agencies, councils and other regulators to improve information sharing and co-ordination, and keep our state safe.

To ensure consistency across the state, the government has said it will also make waste collection an essential service and establish a new dedicated authority to better govern our recycling system.