Victoria’s landfill levy is set to almost double, with the release of the state’s long-awaited circular economy policy Recycling Victoria.
According to Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the increase – $65.90 to $125.90 over three years – will help support recycling reforms and provide a stronger incentive to invest in new waste technologies.
“Victoria’s landfill levy is significantly lower than our neighbouring states, meaning Victoria is too often used as a dumping ground for waste coming from New South Wales and South Australia,” she said.
“The change reflects an agreement reached by state and territory treasurers to work towards the harmonisation of landfill levies, and will provide a strong incentive to reduce and recycle waste.”
The 10-year plan, Recycling Victoria, outlines a more than $300 million package of reforms, including a statewide four-bin kerbside system, container deposit scheme, nearly $100 million to support resource recovery infrastructure and recognising waste as an essential service.
“This is the largest package of recycling reforms and investment in Victoria’s history. It will revolutionise household recycling, drive business innovation and create jobs of the future. Most importantly, it will give Victorians a truly circular economy and recycling system they can rely on,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Furthermore, Recycling Victoria allocates $71.4 million to tackle waste crime, with more resources to stop illegal dumping and stockpiling and deal with high-risk sites and substances.
Ms D’Ambrosio said a dedicated Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate will be established within the EPA, which will work closely with WorkSafe Victoria, emergency service agencies, councils and other regulators to improve information sharing and coordination.
“For too long, waste crime has undermined Victoria’s recycling sector with dangerous and illegal stockpiling. Our investment will help to clean up the industry and make it fairer for businesses that do the right thing,” she said.
Recycling Victoria also sets new goals for improved resource recovery including a landfill diversion target of 80 per cent. Additional targets include cutting total waste generation by 15 per cent per capita by 2030 and ensuring every Victorian household has access to FOGO services or local composing by 2025.
“These targets will create investment certainty for businesses, while promoting jobs and growth in the industry,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“The government will also provide $14.6 million to support local projects that boost recycling, reduce littering and take advantage of economic opportunities to reduce waste, particularly in regional communities.”
Sustainability Victoria welcomed the release in a media statement, calling Recycling Victoria a bold and transformative 10-year plan to shift the state to a circular economy that wastes less and recycles more.
“We are proud to have played a significant role in developing the policy and our work to transform the recycling sector is already underway, with the launch of $39.5 million in grants from the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund to boost recycling capacity in Victoria,” the statement reads.
“Reducing waste and creating a strong recycling system is a shared responsibility. We look forward to partnering with businesses, governments and individuals to move the state towards a circular economy that is built on innovation.”