Auckland Council welcomes Government waste levy consultation announcement

Auckland Council welcomes Government waste levy consultation announcement

Proposed waste levy structure key to kickstarting transformation

Published: Wednesday 27 November 2019

Auckland Council has welcomed the Government’s announcement today by Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Eugenie Sage, to increase funding support for waste minimisation initiatives and address New Zealand’s burgeoning waste challenge.

“We know that Aucklanders want to see action on addressing our waste problem and the flow-on effects to our environment,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

“As Kiwis, we have one of the highest rates of per capita waste production in the developed world.  Not only that, but capacity to process our own waste onshore is very limited. More funding is needed to develop infrastructure within New Zealand to stem the tide of waste being sent to landfill and to process recyclable materials onshore as international markets diminish.”

“Minimising waste production and disposal is one of the keys to us addressing the climate emergency we’re facing,” adds Mayor Goff.

Establishing an effective landfill levy

In the Government’s next phase of its waste work plan, it is proposing to both increase and expand the national landfill levy scheme.  Public feedback is being sought through its “Reducing Waste: a more effective landfill levy” consultation process.

“We’re pleased to see progress being made on this front as advocating for an increase to the waste levy is one of nine priority actions under our 2018 Auckland Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP),” says Councillor Richard Hills, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee.

Auckland Council supports both an increase in the amount of the waste levy and an expansion of the waste levy so that the cost of disposal is shared fairly and equitably across both municipal and commercial waste streams.  With only 20 per cent of Auckland’s waste coming from domestic kerbside collections, there is a need to tackle commercial waste streams – in particular, construction and demolition waste, which currently makes up 50 per cent of waste currently going to landfill.

“Our WMMP supports an approach where generators of waste are responsible for paying the true cost of managing their waste,” says Councillor Hills.

Funding needed to transform our take-make-waste economy

These changes will enable and encourage more recycling and divert waste from landfill, which is good news for Auckland’s environment and for the economy.

“As we look for solutions to shift us from our current take-make-waste economy to one that is focused on recovering resources, regenerating materials, and diverting waste from landfill, an extra funding injection will be available to support innovative business and community projects, creating jobs for Aucklanders and protecting our land for future generations,” says Councillor Richard Hills.