Action to reduce waste as levy skyrockets
WITH landfill levies set to almost double from July 1, separating waste from recyclables and organic material will become crucial to reduce waste to landfill and escalating costs.
The state government landfill levy increase will see the City of Greater Geelong’s rate jump from $65.90 per tonne to $105.90 per tonne in 2021-22.
Waste disposal service fees, including gate fees at the city’s transfer stations will rise on average 27 per cent to 35 per cent, with Waste Clean fill increasing by 56 per cent, as a direct result of the $40 a tonne increase in the state government EPA levy.
The state government introduced landfill levies in 1992 to encourage recycling by putting a price on each tonne of waste that goes to landfill.
The government deferred an increase to the levy last year, which was scheduled to go to $85.50 per tonne (Metropolitan Municipal and Industrial Landfill Levy rate), because of the financial impact of the COVID pandemic on communities and local government.
However, levy increases for 2021-22 and 2022-23 will go ahead as part of the state government’s Recycling Victoria package, a 10-year action plan to “transition waste and recycling sectors”.
The increases aim to encourage more recycling, reduce waste to landfill and discourage cross-border dumping from states with higher levies.
COGG, as part of its Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030, has set a target to divert 80 per cent of waste from landfill by 2030, with an interim target of 72 per cent by 2025.
The city sent about 52,000 tonnes of waste to landfill in 2019-20.
Other waste reduction targets in the strategy include:
* City-hosted and public events requiring a permit to minimise waste and recover resources, as part of their waste management and recycling plan by 2022
* 20 per cent reduction of waste produced from targeted city office buildings between 2020 and 2025, and
* Single use plastics phased out of city buildings by 2022.In addition to the separation of recyclable material, green waste kerbside collection has also been an important initiative in the fight to reduce waste to landfill.The city’s garden organics processing facility in Anakie received and processed 38,500 tonnes of kerbside garden organics material in 2019-20.
The compost produced was turned into valuable organic material which was shared with neighbouring farms.