The Queensland Government has announced that it is developing a new waste management and resource strategy to increase recycling, recovery and to create new jobs by introducing the “waste disposal levy”.

When does the waste disposal levy commence?

The amendments to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2001 (Qld) (“the Act”) which introduced the waste disposal levy commenced on 1 July 2019.

What does the waste disposal levy mean to households?

The Queensland Government has announced that they are committed to ensuring the introduction of the levy will not have a direct impact on households and the levy will not apply to wheelie bin waste or self hauled residential waste.

What does the waste disposal levy mean for businesses?

The commencement of the waste disposal levy will create additional operational expenses for businesses who regularly dispose of waste.  Those businesses should consider reassessing their waste management policies (by reducing waste generation and recycling as much as possible) to prepare for the impact the levy may have on their cost of operation.

Where in Queensland will the waste disposal levy apply?

The waste disposal levy will be imposed in designated levy zones which include 38 out of 77 local councils within Queensland including the Mackay Regional Council area.    All waste disposal sites in the levy zone will need to install a weighbridge within five years.  The Act provides that the waste disposal levy will be payable if:

  • The waste is generated in a levy zone in Queensland regardless of whether the disposal occurs in a levy zone or in a non-levy zone.
  • The waste is generated in a non-levy zone and is disposed in a levy zone.

How much is the waste disposal levy?

The levies are as follows (with the expectation that the waste levy for all classifications will increase by $5.00 on 1 July each year):

Waste ClassificationLevy rate(per tonne)
General Waste (construction and demolition waste, commercial and industrial waste and municipal solid waste)
The Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that commercial and industrial waste includes waste containing arsenic, lead, pesticides, sewerage and oils among other things.
$75.00
Category 1 Regulated WasteThe Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that category 1 regulated waste includes boron compounds, copper compounds, ethers, fly ash among other things.$155.00
Category 2 Regulated WasteThe Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that category 2 regulated waste includes asbestos, grease trap waste, acidic solutions. lead acid batteries (intact) among other things.$105.00

Is some waste exempt from the waste disposal levy?

The Act provides that some waste will be exempt from the waste disposal levy including:

  • Waste resulting from a serious local event, declared as a disaster such as a cyclone, bushfire or flood;
  • Certain types of lawful, managed and transported asbestos waste;
  • Litter and illegally dumped waste collected by the government, council and plantation licensees;
  • Waste required for landfill operations including daily cover;
  • Waste received as a part of donations or what have been left in and around recycling charity donation bins and stores;
  • Litter and illegally dumped waste which is collected as part of an activity such as Clean Up Australia Day;
  • Transitional exemptions for existing recycling and recovery facilities; and
  • Discounts for new or existing recycling facilities which contribute to Queensland’s self sufficient and waste producing.

If you operate a business that regularly disposes of waste and would like further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today to discuss the impact these legislative changes may have and whether any exemptions are applicable on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property

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