How to minimise the impact of the Waste Levy Rates’ increase

Published on 23 June 2022


Waste Levy Rates Set to Increase from 1 July 2022

Palet Recycling - managing wasteNew Zoning for Waste Levy Rates

From 1st July 2022, the existing Queensland levy zones will be divided into two new areas. The metro zone and the regional zone.

The metro zone includes the 12 local government areas in Southeast Queensland, including Noosa and Toowoomba. The Regional zone is made up of the remaining 27 local government areas in the current levy zone.  The levy increase will be applied differently in function of the zone.

Planned Increases of Waste Levy Rates

The metro zone waste levy for 2022-23 will see businesses charged $95 per tonne of waste they send to landfills. Those rates are set to increase annually by $10 per tonne each year until the general rate reaches $145 per tonne on 1 July 2027.

Regional zones will increase in line with the consumer price index each year.

Further details on the price changes depending on the waste types can be found here.

Removed exemptions

Planning ahead, the Clean Earth exemption is set to disappear. It refers to uncontaminated natural materials found in the earth, such as clay, gravel, sand, soil and rock disposal. Currently, as long as the earth is unmixed with other waste products and can be used as fill, there is no applied levy.

From 1st July 2023, any Clean Earth waste sent to a landfill, will be charged the general waste levy rate, which is set to be at $105 for the financial year of 2023-24 in the metro zone.

Business Impact

Businesses have faced unprecedented pressures throughout COVID, natural disasters and increasing costs for freight, shipping, transport and wages. The additional fiscal pressure with increased waste disposal costs is unwelcome news for small and medium Queensland Businesses.

The only way to minimise any additional charges from this levy are by reducing the amount of waste businesses send to landfills. Two opportunities open up then, one in internal recycling waste management and the other by finding business partners that use specific waste as a resource.

Finding Opportunities to reduce waste Internally

Internal waste management takes many forms and can be as simple as composting food waste.  Installing the right bins, water-refill stations and educating staff and visitors is another important step.

Large opportunities might be found when reassessing and optimising production. Your business might be able to remove waste in production or supply chains, re-manufacture by-products and send back pallets to be reused by suppliers.  

Office paper waste switching to sustainable

Recycling and Repurposing Waste with Partners

Many businesses produce waste that can have value to other businesses. In those instances, waste can be diverted from landfills and partnerships can be struck for by-product disposal and repurposing.

For example, a textile company with large quantities of offcuts can sell them as stuffing in another industry. Some companies specialise in repurposing soft plastics or containers and are happy to pick up or pay for more material.

How EcoBiz can help

The free ecoBiz program specialises in decreasing Queensland business costs by providing advice on reduction of electricity, waste and water usage. It can also facilitate contact with recycling companies looking for specific by-products and materials. Generally, ecoBiz can assist in alleviating the pressure on Queensland’s small and medium businesses while making them more sustainable.

The program is funded by the Department of Environment and Science, businesses, not-for-profits, community organisations and charities. All Queensland 200 FTE businesses and below are eligible to participate.

Positive Impact on Businesses Using the EcoBiz Program

B&C plastics, to name one, is an awarded Star Partner of EcoBiz. They managed a 45% reduction in waste intensity after entering the program.

They took advantage of various points in the recycling cycle and are now also using reformulated plastics rather than only using virgin resources. Their main waste reduction achievements are:

-        The regrinding of manufacturing sprues (waste) to be re-used in secondary manufacturing.

-        The re-using or selling of items that would have previously gone in the industrial skip (such as bulk bags, pallets and plywood boxes)

-        Putting in place specialised cardboard bins that are recycled

 For more success stories visit the ecoBiz website.


The Next Step for reducing waste Production

If you’re wanting to reduce your business waste ahead of the upcoming increase in the waste levy, ecoBiz can help.

Receive a free waste assessment as part of the 2-hour on-site walkthrough with an expert sustainability coach. The assessments provide tailored solutions to waste management challenges. Each coach specialises in specific industries, so be sure to highlight your sector and what you aim to achieve when you register here or call 1300 731 988.

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.