NEW ERA OF RECYCLING AND NEW JOBS FOR VICTORIA

Posted on 04. Jun, 2010 in News

The Victorian Government will spend almost $54 million over the next five years to assist councils, the community and industry adapt to increased recycling opportunities.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the funding would be made available through increases to landfill levies and would help create up to 700 jobs while further protecting our environment.

“The Victorian Government is taking action to protect our environment by reducing waste to landfill, increasing recycling and at the same time creating jobs for Victorian families,” Mr Jennings said.

“Victorians are already great recyclers but the $53.7 million funding raised from the levies could help increase resource efficiency and recycling by up to 33 per cent.

“Victoria already recycles six million tonnes of waste each year but with an increase in the landfill levy, Environment Protection Authority modelling indicates an extra 1.2 million tonnes per year by the 2014-15 financial year will be diverted away from landfill.

“Access Economics research prepared for the National Waste Policy found that every 10,000 tonnes of material recycled supports more than nine jobs compared with less than three jobs supported by the same amount of material going to landfill. This means the creation of around 700 jobs over the next five years.

“For a long time the cost of sending valuable materials to landfill has been too low. Increasing the levy paid on each tonne of waste helps provide an incentive to avoid landfill and stimulate the development of recycling businesses, new technologies and jobs.

“Sending resources to landfill is bad for the environment and a wasted economic opportunity for Victoria. Recycling is an industry with a bright the future that will create clean, green jobs. We want to reduce the need for landfills near our homes and communities and within the next decade across metropolitan Melbourne we will have one third fewer landfills than today.”

Mr Jennings said the levy increase was a charge being placed on the delivery of material to landfill sites. Councils operating landfill sites pass on the levy through rates.

The average cost for households in metropolitan Melbourne and provincial areas will go from around $4 per year in 2009-10 to around $13 per year. In regional Victoria they will rise to $7 per year in 2010-11. The increase in landfill levies will come into effect from 1 July.

“This equates to an increase of no more than 20 cents per week. And for households taking an average 100kg trailer to the tip, the cost of the levy increase at the gate will be around $1 in Melbourne and provincial areas and around 30 cents in regional areas,” he said.

Mr Jennings said the Government was minimising the impact on households and would invest the $53.7 million raised by the levy over the next five years to help businesses, councils, households and communities address waste and its environmental impacts and assist in the transition to the higher levy rates.

The funding will cover:

  • $14 million to assist businesses to reduce the waste they send to landfill through innovations that reduce the amount of waste they generate from daily operations; 
  • $14 million to support councils and recyclers with new resource recovery investments and initiatives to complement the levy and accelerate recycling;
  • $5.5 million to assist councils in metropolitan Melbourne implement best practice waste collection and management systems in line with the metropolitan waste plan;
  • $3 million to assist councils in regional Victoria to implement a range of collection and waste management initiatives;
  • $6 million to establish a Strike Force to address illegal dumping and a further $5.5 million to clean up contaminated legacy sites; and
  • $5.69 million to environment agencies to further support households, councils and industry to tackle waste and sustainability issues which includes $1.14 million for both the Metropolitan Waste Management Group and Regional Waste Management Groups.

 

“This is on top of the Victorian Government’s commitment of $6 million to work with local governments to curb litter and includes the roll out of recycling bins at sporting grounds, local shopping strips and on the transport network. Local government litter prevention officers will be employed to educate and, where necessary, issue litter penalty notices,” Mr Jennings said.

“The Government will continue to reinvest revenue from the landfill levy to tackle climate change and protect the environment, including the upcoming Jobs for the Future Economy Plan.”

Mr Jennings said the Government worked closely with the Australian Industry Group and environment groups in developing the strategy.

“Business never wants to see unnecessary cost increases, but the Government has listened to the need to keep costs lower and provide assistance to help business reduce waste,” Tim Piper, Victorian director of the Australian Industry Group, said.

CEO of Environment Victoria, Kelly O’Shannassy, said: “Environment Victoria supports the increased levies because it will boost recycling rates and keep valuable materials out of landfill.“

Following two initial increases on 1 July 2010 and 1 July 2011, levies will progressively be increased over the following four years to 2014-15.  A mid-term review of waste levies will be undertaken by to determine if any changes to the settings are required for 2012/13 and beyond.

The new levy rates are:

  $ per tonne
2009-10
 
 

 

2010-11
 
 

 

2011-12
 
 

 

2012-13
 
 

 

2013-14
 
 

 

2014-15
 
 

 

Melbourne and Provincial Centres 
Municipal levy   $9 $30 $40 $44 $48.4 $53.2
Industrial levy   $15 $30 $40 $44 $48.4 $53.2
Rural
Municipal levy $7 $15 $20 $22 $24.2 $26.6
Industrial levy $13 $25 $35 $38.5 $42.4 $46.6

* These changes do not affect the landfill levy for prescribed industrial waste (PIW). Levies for PIW were increased in 2008 to achieve the Government’s commitment to zero hazard waste to landfill by 2020.

 More information about the Jobs for the Future Economy Action Plan is available at: 

www.business.vic.gov.au/greenjobs

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