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The expanded 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 started increasing and expanding the disposal levy from July 2021. This means it is becoming more expensive to dispose of waste at landfill.

What is the new waste disposal levy?

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


Waste disposal level increase and expansion timeline

Landfill Class Waste Types 1 July 2021 1 July 2022 1 July 2023 1 July 2024
Municipal landfill
(Class 1)
Mixed municipal waste from residential, commercial and industrial sources $20 $30 $50 $60
Construction and demolition fill
(Class 2)
Range of waste from construction and demolition activities, including rubble, plasterboard, timber, and other materials - $20 $20 $30
Managed fill
(Class 3)
Contaminated but non-hazardous soils and other inert materials (e.g. rubble) - - $10 $10
Controlled fill
(Class 4)
Soils and other inert materials (e.g. rubble) - - $10 $10

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.


How the waste disposal levy works


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 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.

What does it mean for Waste Management customers?

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.