News and Views

Let’s get the facts straight on waste

LGNZ President Dave Cull has backed a WasteMINZ report calling for investigation into the broadening and progressive increase of New Zealand’s Waste Levy at the 2018 LGNZ Quarterly Media Briefing, and says that recent conversation around waste management has been hijacked by speculation on the rate of increase.

“There has been significant comment on WasteMINZ’s Local Government Waste Manifesto, which Local Government New Zealand passed remits to support in July 2018, however reports have conflated a study cited in the manifesto with a call to quadruple, or even raise the levy by 140 percent, when in reality no rate of increase was proposed by the manifesto or LGNZ.”

“A $10 waste levy is included in the charge per tonne to dispose at class 1 landfills. However, class 1 landfills make up just 11 percent of all landfills, and only receive 30 percent of New Zealand’s total waste. New Zealand’s waste levy is also one of the lowest of any country with a landfill levy.”

Half of the $10 levy goes to city and district councils to spend on waste minimisation activities, and half goes into the Waste Minimisation Fund for projects throughout New Zealand.

“The manifesto cited a Eunomia study that detailed the potential economic and environmental benefits of raising the waste levy to rates found in the UK, Europe and Australia for active waste, which includes the most toxic, harmful types of waste, but ultimately the manifesto found that there is no consensus among local authorities as to what the rate should be or how quickly it should go up.”

“Local government are committed to finding better solutions to New Zealand’s growing waste issues, and the manifesto provides central government with the actions we believe will make a positive economic and environment difference through a modern waste strategy, better provision of information on waste, a container deposit scheme and mandatory product stewardship.”

As well as the remit calling for central government to implement the manifesto, LGNZ passed three additional remits at the recent LGNZ AGM, requesting central government to expand and progressively raise the waste levy in order to reduce total waste to landfills, eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags and plastic straws and implement a mandatory product stewardship programme for tyres.

“I encourage the Government to continue the research we have started, implement the manifesto, and support local government with their efforts towards better waste management and recycling.”

Source: LGNZ

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