Landfill levy jump

June 24, 2021 BY

The separation of recyclables and reuse of second-hand goods through Angelsea Transfer Station's Resale Centre are vital to reducing waste to landfill and associated costs.

SURF Coast Shire council has congratulated the community on reducing its kerbside waste by a third in the past five months, by separating food and green waste from general rubbish.

But despite the FOGO and glass bin initiatives, council will still be looking at its landfill levy almost doubling from about $1.25 million this year to about $2.1 million next financial year, with state charges jumping from $33.03 a tonne to $52.95 a tonne.

Waste disposal charges at the shire’s transfer stations are proposed to increase up to 14.8 per cent for waste, subject to the adoption of the 2021-22 Budget, as a direct result of state government EPA levy increase.

“Now more than ever, waste being sent to landfill needs to be a last resort, both from a financial and environmental aspect,” Surf Coast’s general manager governance and infrastructure John Bertoldi said.

“Each year approximately 25,000 tonnes of waste is deposited to the Anglesea Landfill, this includes approximately 6,500 tonnes from council’s kerbside collection service,” he said.

“For 2020/21 we anticipate $1.25m will be paid in landfill levies to the state government.

“For 2021/22 council has budgeted $2.1m in landfill levy payments, which in turn, increases landfill levy rates.”

The state government introduced the 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 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 massive increases aim to encourage more recycling, reduce waste to landfill and discourage cross-border dumping from states with higher levies.

“These increases in landfill operational costs need to be passed onto waste generators via increased landfill gate fees,” Mr Bertoldi said.

“To avoid loads (of recyclable materials) getting rejected and sent to landfill due to contaminated recycling streams, sorting waste correctly at the household level is essential,” he said, explaining that the correct separation of recyclables being vital to reducing landfill costs.

“Since the introduction of Surf Coast Shire’s Food Organics & Garden Organics service on February 1, there has been 33 per cent reduction in waste deposited to landfill from the kerbside waste service.

“This is a great achievement and our community should be congratulated.

“Interim waste audit reports indicate we can still make improvements to recover more from landfill, and also reduce contamination in recovered streams.”