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Changes to the national waste disposal levy

Changes to the national waste disposal levy


The Waste Minimisation Act 2008 was introduced to encourage waste minimisation in New Zealand. To help achieve this, under the Act on 1 July 2009, a disposal levy was imposed on waste sent to landfill.

What is changing?

To further encourage waste minimisation, the Government is increasing and expanding the disposal levy from July 2021. This means it will become more expensive to dispose of waste at landfill.

What is the current waste disposal levy?

Currently, the operators of municipal landfills that take household waste must pay a levy of $10 per tonne (excluding GST) to the Government.

What will the new waste disposal levy be?

The Government is expanding the levy to cover all landfill types, including construction and demolition fills. Under this plan, the levy will also increase
progressively over four years. By 2024 there will be a levy of $60 per tonne for all waste disposed at a municipal landfill. Please see chart below.

Waste disposal level increase and expansion timeline

Source: MFE Website April 2021. All amounts above expressed as dollars per tonne

Disposal facility operators must pay the levy based on the weight of material disposed of at their facility. However they may pass this cost on to the waste producer such as households and businesses.

What are the levy funds used for?

Half of the levy money goes to city and district councils to spend on promoting or achieving the waste minimisation activities set out in
their waste management and minimisation plans (WMMPs). The remaining levy money (minus administration costs) is put into the waste minimisation fund. The fund is for waste minimisation activities in New Zealand, such as building New Zealand based recycling infrastructure.

Why is the Government increasing the waste disposal levy?

Along with other proposed changes, such as the product stewardship schemes, the aim is to further encourage New Zealanders to start taking responsibility for the waste they produce and to find more effective and efficient ways to reduce, reuse, recycle or reprocess waste. The revenue from the increased and expanded waste disposal levy will be invested in initiatives that support waste reduction.

What does it mean for Waste Management customers?

Over the next four years there will be incremental increases in the prices paid to dispose of your waste at landfills. These price increases will be clearly communicated in advance of the Government’s levy increases.