Call to increase dump levies

6:45 pm on 3 July 2017

A trip to the dump could cost at least twice as much, if a waste sector lobby group gets its way.

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Landfill operators are charged $10 per tonne of waste, which the Waste Levy Action Group says is too low. Photo: 123rf

A report commissioned by the Waste Levy Action Group has found the current levy charged is too low compared with other developed countries.

Landfill operators are currently charged $10 per tonne of waste, which they are able to pass on to households and businesses.

In comparison, Australia charges $90 per tonne and the United Kingdom, $130.

WasteMINZ chief executive Paul Evans said the levy should be at least $20 per tonne.

If the levy was boosted to $140, Mr Evans estimated 9000 jobs would be created, making the country $500m each year after costs.

"Auckland is setting up a resource recovery network, which is for people to go in and recycle things at a local hub.

"That creates a lot of jobs in terms of reuse markets, so there are reuse shops. And then there are flow-on benefits as well; the engineering companies who are supplying recycling equipment and so on."

Mr Evans said the benefits would come through the building of local recycling hubs and reuse markets.

However, associate Minister for the Environment Scott Simpson said the levy should vary depending on what type of waste was being dumped.

"I'd like to have a look at seeing what nuanced, more sophisticated approach could be taken.

"What I'd like to have is a conversation about a menu of options rather than just one blanket tool," he said.

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