Waste levy will hurt hip pockets

IPSWICH City Council is bracing for the impact of the State Government's waste levy before it is introduced on Thursday.

Under the new Waste Reduction and Recycling Act, the government will then be able to charge landfill operators a levy on certain types of waste.

All local government and private sector landfills in south-east Queensland will be required to collect the levy.

The intent of the levy is to reduce waste being sent to landfill but operators will need to pass on the cost to customers.

A report was presented yesterday to the council works committee by the Ipswich Waste Services manager.

Commercial and industrial waste, commercial and demolition waste and contaminated soil will attract a levy of $35 per tonne.

While domestic solid waste has no levy, hazardous waste will be levied at $35 a tonne for low level to $150 for high hazardous waste.

The council is looking at ways to avoid passing on the extra costs directly to ratepayers.

The report said the increasing cost of sending waste to landfill would make avoidance more likely but reuse, recycling and energy recovery options would be more financially attractive.

The act specifies that revenue from the levy has to fund waste management and environmental initiatives including funding to establish infrastructure to reduce waste to landfill.

The Riverview recycling and refuse centre recycles more than 60% of waste and Ipswich Waste Services recycles more than 35% of the commercial waste it handles through its commercial waste collection services.

In a letter to Mayor Paul Pisasale, Environment Minister Vicky Darling also offered the council a lifeline with the promise of a soft introduction to the levy.

"I know that reform of this scale and significance will take some time to become part of the state's waste management culture, which is why we intend to adopt a flexible approach to compliance in keeping with the collaborative spirit of our partnership to date," the Minister wrote.

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