Historic day for Tasmania WARR industry

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The passing of the Container Refund Scheme Bill 2021 and the Waste and Resource Recovery Bill 2021 in Parliament on Thursday heralds a new chapter for Tasmania’s waste and resource recovery (WARR) industry.

The Waste and Resource Recovery Bill 2021 establishes a statewide waste levy that will encourage the diversion of materials from landfill, and drive investment into alternatives to landfill, so more materials will be recovered from the waste streams and turned into new and valuable products.

Roger Jaensch, Minister for the Environment, said it is a win for the environment and for jobs, with the levy expected to support the creation of up to 130 new full-time positions in the waste and resource recovery sector once the maximum levy rate is reached.

“Importantly, the Bill also establishes a Waste and Resource Recovery Board that will develop a statewide waste strategy for Tasmania and allocate funds from the levy to implement it,” he said.

The Container Refund Scheme Bill 2021 is another long-awaited piece of legislation that will reduce litter in Tasmania by rewarding Tasmanians for directing their used drink containers into recycling.

Under the scheme, Tasmanians will receive a 10-cent refund for returning eligible drink containers to designated Refund Points around the state. Tasmanian charities and community groups will also be able to take part by collecting containers, receiving donations, or operating return points and receiving a handling fee.

“This ensures that charities and community groups, big and small, have plentiful opportunities to be part of the scheme, and to benefit from it,” Jaensch said.

“Our Government is committed to reducing waste and growing a circular economy in Tasmania and these Bills will benefit our state for decades to come.”

Gayle Sloan, Chief Executive Officer Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association (WMRR) congratulated the government for “staying the course” with the landfill levy and container refund scheme.

“The fact that a common-sense approach has been taken this week in Parliament to progress the landfill levy and CRS is heartening, as it shows that the government is committed to WARR and it acknowledges the numerous benefits of these tools, including reducing waste to landfill that will, in turn, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions,” Sloan said.

“There will be a suite of opportunities that Tasmanians can look forward to through the landfill levy and CRS, from attracting investment that will build the capacity and capability of its WARR infrastructure, which will grow the industry and create a multitude of green jobs, to developing new local remanufacturing industries, to reducing litter and increasing recycling, as well as putting more money in householders’ pockets.”

Rose Read, Chief Executive Officer National Waste and Recycling Industry Council said the passing of the bills is a critical step forward for Tasmania and will help drive recycling rates in the state.

“The benefits of CRS are well established, and we’ve seen how they create jobs, increase recycling rates and deliver social benefits for communities,” Read said.

“A waste levy, which is part of the Waste and Resource Recovery Bill, sends the necessary price signal to industry to invest in recycling collection and processing infrastructure, creating new businesses, more jobs, secondary resources and diverting waste from landfill.

“The funds generated from the levy will also enable Tasmania to leverage around $9.5 million of federal and industry funds[1] to build the necessary recycling infrastructure to transition Tasmania to a circular economy.

“NWRIC congratulates Tasmania on this important milestone, which will support Australia its target of an 80 per cent resource recovery rate by 2030,” Read said.

For more information, visit: www.premier.tas.gov.au

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