Landfill Levy Encourages Skips On Site
31 December 2014
Builders New Year’s Resolution to Recycle
There’s absolutely no denying the benefits of recycling. For decades, we’ve been aware of its positive impact on the environment and how doing something – regardless of how small – can significantly reduce your carbon footprint over time. From sustainable building to evolving recycling techniques, ‘green’ practices have edged their way into the forefront of people’s mind.
The benefits of recycling though aren’t just for the environment. With recent changes in the landfill levy, builders throughout Australia can now be the recipients of considerable savings – just by recycling.
What the Landfill Levy Means for You
As part of the Western Australia Government’s 2014/2015 budget, increases to the landfill levy were announced mid last year. These changes have taken place as of January 1st, 2015. These increases have been encouraged to help divert the amount of waste being dumped at tips. Based on a 70-90% recycling rate, the recent changes in the landfill levy can be alleviated by builders and other tradesmen by helping to reduce waste where possible.
By boosting the landfill levy prices, both builders and the general public are forced to look at alternative waste treatment options. Whilst the initial costs may be disheartening to the building and housing industry, the rise brings the state up-to-date with Victorian and South Australia rates and creates positive benefits for the WA environment and consumers.
Why These Changes are so Crucial and the Benefits for Your Business
Unfortunately, Australian’s are among the highest waste producers worldwide. Each year, millions of tonnes of rubbish is generated by people like you and me, and the building industry. As quick as this waste is generated, it’s then dumped into the environment or sent to landfill where it cannot be recycled.
Unethical practices such as dumping rubbish in the environment drives clean-up costs up to around $8million a year – just in Western Australia alone. For individuals, you can face fines up to $62,5000 or $125,000 for corporations. The State Government firmly believes that by increasing the landfill levy costs, consumer behaviour will be changed for the better and waste heading for landfill will be significantly reduced. Not only are these changes crucial to protecting and saving the environment, but it helps to eliminate any unethical dumping practices and promote cost-saving benefits to consumers and businesses.
There are huge opportunities for Western Australians to change their recycling habits to something that’s more positive. If, as a state, we have less waste being distributed to landfill sites, the recovery rate of household waste alone in the Perth region can be increased from 36% to 50% within 3 years. This is the primary aim of the State Government.
For those living outside the Perth region, this levy is not applicable. For those that wish to avoid the landfill levy cost increase, recycling waste effectively can be alleviated and a license obtained for legal dumping is crucial. This ensures an opportunity to not only save money, but to help the environment too.
Landfill Levy Dates and Rates
As of the 1st January, 2015 the Western Australian landfill levy rate has increased from $28 per tonne to $55 per tonne. This applies to putrescible waste (solid waste containing organic matter that’s able to be decomposed by microorganisms). From the 1st July, 2016 to 30th June 2017 this rate will make a further increase to $60. Up until 2018 the landfill levy will increase by $5 each year until the 1st July, 2019 where it will remain at $70. The five-year schedule that’s been put in place by the WA State Government provides the industry with a solid opportunity to plan and invest for the future.
This landfill levy is the first increase since 2010 and whilst it brings the state in line with Victoria and South Australia, it’s still half the cost of that in New South Wales. The money saved from the landfill levy changes will be invested into alternative waste disposal options and ongoing support from the State government to increase recycling.
The Detrimental Issues Surrounding Disposal of Waste
The full cost of disposing waste to landfills doesn’t just lie in the establishment and private costs of operation, but also in the externalities. These externalities, which can range from environmental impact to human health include the effects of releasing greenhouse gases from the decomposition of organic wastes. The potential of these emissions impacting the soil structure and leaching of toxic metals is high.
Out of the 52.1 million tonnes of waste that was generated in Australia from 2009 to 2010, 24.9 million tonnes was disposed to landfill. Over 71% of this waste was generated by the construction industry thus, increasing the burden on landfill operation.
The Rewards of Recycling Have Just Got Bigger
Based on these statistics, and the obvious need to improve our environment and recycling options this increase will provide consumers and businesses a significant opportunity to save money. From a building site perspective, costs can be reduced by taking important recycling measures. This will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.
At Instant Waste Management, we offer an off-site separation system to save costs on building sites. The bin holding the waste generated on site is commingled and processed at our state of the art Material Recovery Facility in Bayswater. Larger businesses should secure access to the recycling capacity of these Material Recovery Facilities to encourage protection against the increasing landfill levy charges.
It’s also important you consider where your waste is being disposed and how much you’re being charged to do this. To assist in the industry, the Masters Builder’s Association has put together a Smart Waste Guide to offer options for construction waste in Australia.
The team at Instant Waste Management have also got supported initiatives in place, such as Busted Builders Unite and Keep Australia Beautiful to help boost the rewards of recycling to both consumers and the building industry. For more information about how you can take advantage of the landfill levy increase, speak to one of our friendly staff today.