Costs to households and businesses for dumping rubbish at tips around Perth will more than quadruple for some forms of waste under a massive lift in the landfill levy outlined in the State Budget.
As part of a cash-grab that will raise an extra $202 million over the next four years, Treasurer Mike Nahan today revealed the landfill levy would be significantly increased for organic and inert waste.
The move will add to the price of household waste disposal services given that the higher costs, which will be borne by councils when they take rubbish to the tip, will inevitably be passed on to consumers.
According to the Budget papers, the cost of dumping organic, or putrescible, waste would jump from $28 a tonne to $55 from January 1.
The cost of disposing of inert waste, such as that produced by the building and construction industries, would rise by a whopping 400 per cent from $8 a tonne to $40.
Given that the new arrangements will only apply from next year, the measure is forecast to raise a further $16.6 for 2014-15, increasing to $64.2 million by 2017-18.
Over the course of the Budget cycle, the changes will yield the Government an extra $202.4 million.
About $51 million, or a quarter of the additional money, will be given to the Waste Management Authority to help fund recycling initiatives, while $15 million will be directed to the Office of Environmental Protection Authority to “assist in service delivery”.
In an explanation of the decision, Treasury said the levy was introduced to act as a disincentive to dumping and lift recycling rates.
It also noted that despite the levy increases outlined in the Budget, the cost of offloading rubbish at tips in Perth would still be low compared with other Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
“In New South Wales the charge is $121 per tonne, in Victoria $58.50 per tonne and South Australia $52 per tonne,” Treasury said.
The decision is likely to incense demolition companies and businesses specialising in the creation of subdivisions using inert waste such as construction materials and dredge spoil.