The South Australia Government’s Budget includes provision to increase the Solid Waste Levy over the next four years to boost recycling in the state.
South Australia Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis shared details of the levy plans as part of the State Budget announcement on 4 July.
The levy will rise in stages from $62 to $103 a tonne by 2019/20, raising an additional $64 million over the four years.
The Treasurer said this money will be invested into waste industry development to grow jobs, promote recycling and lower carbon emissions. The plans include initiatives to help recycle waste into more valuable commodities, accelerating new business opportunities in the resource recovery sector and creating up to 350 jobs.
“This funding will help grow what is already a very important, $1 billion industry in South Australia, and help us maintain our enviable position as Australia’s leading recycler,” said Mr Koutsantonis. “Every additional dollar raised from the solid waste levy will be invested back into the recycling and reuse of waste and meeting our Carbon Neutral Adelaide objectives,” he added.
The levy rises
The first rise in the metropolitan Solid Waste Levy of $5 was brought in on 1 July, making it $62 a tonne. It will climb to $76 on 1 September 2016, $87 in 2017-18, $100 in 2018-19 and $103 in 2019-20. The SA Government has made appropriate waivers in applying the levy, as scrap metal recyclers will be protected from the levy increase and the cost of disposing of asbestos will also be halved. The solid waste levy in non-metropolitan areas is half the metropolitan levy.
Commenting on the announcement, Environment Minister Ian Hunter said: “We know the waste and resource recovery sector turns over some $1 billion each year and contributes more than $500 million to Gross State Product, and we are backing industries of the future such as this one.
“Jobs are our first priority, and economic research shows this investment in waste infrastructure could lead to 350 full time jobs for South Australians,” he added.
Where the money will go
From the $64 million raised from the levy increase new funding will be provided for:
• $14 million towards grant programs in consultation with the LGA to support local Government infrastructure investment, waste education programs and household hazardous waste collection
• $12.4 million towards grant programs for the waste sector for infrastructure investment and innovation as well as levy rebates for scrap metal recyclers.
Other measures to be supported by the Solid Waste Levy include:
• $15.7 million over four years for the EPA to deal with the management of existing contaminated orphan sites, as well assisting with compliance and implementation of reforms
• $21.9 million for climate change initiatives to transition the State’s economy to a low-carbon future and make Adelaide a carbon neutral city.
Full details are on the South Australia Government website.