There are various policies governing waste and resource recovery in Australia. This includes the National Waste Policy, which outlines roles and responsibilities for collective action by businesses, communities, governments and individuals. There are also policies at the local and state level, which are often tailored to respond to particular issues in a region. In Queensland, we have the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011, which contains a suite of measures aimed at encouraging recycling and reducing waste generation and landfill disposal. The Act outlines offences for mismanagement of waste as well as requiring government bodies to have waste management plans in place.
Queensland’s Resource Recovery and Waste StrategyWith increasing demand from the community for action on issues such as plastic pollution, new strategies are also being introduced around the country to further improve recycling and reuse of resources across industries. In March 2018, the Queensland Government announced a comprehensive new strategy to increase recycling and recovery. The goal is to:
- Provide the resource recovery and waste sector with the policy certainty that has been lacking, leading to significant underinvestment in new and expanded resource recovery infrastructure in Queensland.
- Prioritise waste types for action and identify key re-investment opportunities.
Levy RatesThe levy is set to come in place on 1 July 2019. Below are the proposed rates which are set to increase by $5 on 1 July every year.
- $75 per tonne of general waste (includes municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial, construction and demolition)
- $155 per tonne of regulated waste: category 1 (includes pharmaceuticals, oxidising agents, cyanides, fire debris, mercury, organic solvents and more)
- $105 per tonne of regulated waste: category 2 (includes sewage, tyres, asbestos, acids, animal effluent, grease trap and food processing waste, lead, mineral oils and more)