Queensland has a new waste levy. We spoke with Neil Perry, Head of Development and Joint Ventures at Cleanaway, for some tips on how businesses can be waste-levy ready.

The Queensland Government has recently introduced a new waste levy, which requires landfill operators to pay the government based on the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

These operators then decide if and how the levy is passed through to customers. This doesn’t directly affect households, but it will affect businesses and commercial waste.

The waste levy came into effect on 1 July 2019. Cleanaway’s Neil Perry recommends a two-fold approach for business: seeing what more can be diverted to recycling, and looking at where the waste is coming from.

Q: What does Queensland’s new waste levy mean for businesses?

NEIL: What it really does is herald the start of a new resource recovery era for Queensland.

For businesses, it will specifically mean the costs for their general waste services will increase, because the levy is applied to commercial, industrial and construction waste that’s disposed at landfills. The new levy applies to most parts of Queensland.

There are three tiers. One at $75 a tonne for general waste, and two regulated waste tiers of $105 and $155 per tonne, depending on the category. Regulated waste is a higher risk category than general waste, so those tiers are higher.

Q. What are some of the ways that businesses can be waste-levy ready?

NEIL:  The levy affords businesses the opportunity to work with their waste management service provider and divert more of their waste to recycling services like Cleanaway. The more they minimize the levy liability, the more they reduce their costs.

The first thing to do is talk with their waste management service provider. Here at Cleanaway we can offer businesses a wide range of recycling services in bins of various sizes: paper and cardboard, organics, plastics, metals, glass and polystyrene.

Businesses should also consider a waste audit. Our specialists can pull apart what’s in the general waste bins to work out if there are recyclable products in that can be segregated. We can also deploy recycling programs, education and training with employees on an ongoing basis.

Ongoing reporting can be provided to businesses, giving them data on how successful the initiatives are. This can deliver positive feedback for the employees and deliver additional training where required.

Q. Any other tips you can offer?

NEIL: Look at the origin of your waste. As a result of doing an audit, you may find that the product packaging that’s in your waste bin or recyclables is something you can reduce by working with your procurement and environmental teams. This is a very important part of reducing the overall volume of waste that your business generates.

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