The Waste Disposal Levy

The levy basics explained.

In 2015 New Zealand, disposed of approximately 15 million tonnes of waste. This waste comes from a range of sources, including:

  • 8 million tonnes (12%) from municipal authorities, including domestic kerbside and other residential sources
  • 6 million tonnes (24%) from commercial and industrial sources
  • 4 million tonnes (29%) from construction and demolition sources
  • 5 million tonnes (10%) from rural sources

 The Waste Disposal Levy is a charge that disposal facility (landfill) operators must pay the Government based on the weight of rubbish disposed of at their facility.

The disposal facility operators can pass the levy increase onto the waste producer such as households and businesses.

From 1 July 2021, the waste levy has increased from $10 per tonne (excluding GST) to $20 per tonne for municipal (Class 1) landfills and will increase annually, reaching $60 per tonne on 1 July 2024.

Construction and demolition (Class 2) landfills have increased from $10 per tonne (excluding GST) to $20 per tonne from July 2022, increasing to $30 per tonne on 1 July 2024.

It’s hoped that the increase in the Waste Disposal Levy will incentivise waste producers:

  • reduce their general waste going to landfill
  • increase their waste diversion through recycling

 What happens to the revenue collected from the levy?

The Government invests the revenue collected from the levy into waste minimisation projects like new or updated recycling and reprocessing projects.

The funded projects divert valuable commodities from landfill. They will also benefit New Zealand with a boost in employment opportunities and reduce the burden of ratepayers with ongoing landfill service charges.