Tasmania to introduce waste levy from November this year

The Tasmanian Government has released its draft Waste and Resource Recovery Bill for public consultation, which will allow for the introduction of a state-wide waste levy.

The state government is proposing to introduce a waste levy from 1 November this year.

According to Environment Minister Roger Jaensch, the Bill also provides for the formation of a Waste and Resource Recovery Board to oversee Tasmania’s long term waste strategy, and allocate funds raised by the levy.

“To ensure businesses and local government have ample time to plan for the future, it is proposed that introduction of the levy will be staggered over four years, starting at $20 per tonne and rising to $60 after four years,” he said.

“The levy will provide an incentive to divert waste from landfill and funding for innovative waste and resource recovery initiatives to help build a circular economy in Tasmania, supporting the creation of new jobs and businesses.”

The Tasmanian Government has also announced its preferred model for a container refund scheme, as part of its commitment to having the lowest litter rate in the country by 2023.

“The chosen model, a split responsibility container refund scheme, will bring together the beverage industry and the waste and recycling sectors to deliver the best scheme for Tasmania,” Jaensch said.

The split responsibility model, which is already operating in NSW and ACT and being developed in Victoria, involves a Scheme Coordinator who will run the administration and finance for the scheme, while a separate Network Operator runs the network of Refund Points.

“This has been an important decision which will allow legislation to be drafted for public consultation later this year,” Jaensch said.

“Contracts for the roles of Scheme Coordinator and Network Operator will be awarded through an open tender process after the legislation has been approved by parliament.”

Jaensch added that the Tasmanian Government is committed to implementing a scheme that will be convenient for the community, good for the environment and maximises the number of containers returned.

“It will see people receive a refund for returning eligible drink containers to designated Refund Points around the state, which will significantly reduce litter and increase recycling rates, thereby driving our circular economy,” he said.

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