Landfill levy should go towards waste recovery, Vic councils say

Thursday, 06 July, 2017

Hobsons Bay City Council has joined with other metropolitan Victorian councils to call on the Victorian Government to use funds collected for the Municipal and Industrial Landfill Levy for the purpose for which it was designed.

The purpose of the fund is to help protect the environment, foster environmentally sustainable use of resources and implement best practice waste management. Yet of the $157 million collected from the levy in 2017–18, only $30.4 million has actually been invested back in waste and resource recovery.

“Council will be writing to the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to ask that the fund be used for its original purpose and that councils receive a greater share of the funding to support our environmental and waste and recycling programs,” said Hobsons Bay Mayor Sandra Wilson, whose ratepayers have contributed almost $9 million to the levy over the past nine years.

“For our considerable contributions from Hobsons Bay ratepayers we so far we have seen only a very small investment back into local waste and recycling management and sustainability initiatives in our community.”

Councillor Wilson said the money raised by the levy has the potential to strengthen the capacity to reduce, re-use and recycle waste in the community, which is what residents and ratepayers expect. She said the fund has “already contributed towards some excellent initiatives, such as the introduction of flexible plastics recycling, the Cigarette Butt Litter Reduction project and My Smart Garden, but there are a number of other projects that we would like to see funded”.

“Some of these include initiatives aimed at reducing food waste and improving organic waste management, development of a strategy to address dust, odour and noise pollution in affected areas of the municipality, and greater protection for our community, infrastructure and local flora and fauna against the effects of climate change,” she said.

The council’s complaint comes two months after the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) revealed that a large percentage of the Victorian Government’s surplus for 2016–17 came from the landfill levy, claiming that not enough of the funds were invested back into the resource recovery industry.

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