Recycling industry welcomes landfill levy
The recycling and waste management industry said that announcements in the NSW Treasurer’s Mini-Budget would hasten a major increase in recycling in NSW.
“The increases in the waste and environmental levy by $10 a tonne (against an existing planned increase of $7) and the extension of the scheme by five years to 2016 will enable the waste industry’s private sector to consider major investment in new technology,” said Mike Ritchie, general manager of marketing and communications with leading recycling company, SITA Environmental Solutions.
“Over the next 10 years, we are likely to see proposals put forward for investing up to $1 billion in alternative waste treatment and other available technology in the state over the life of the initiative.
“The increases mean that by 2016 the levy, without taking into account CPI adjustments, will be more than $128 a tonne.
“The higher levy provides investment incentives for the waste sector. The NSW government should be congratulated for taking steps to see that recycling is more competitive with landfill. For too long it has been cheaper to landfill than to recycle.
“It’s also pleasing that over the next four years nearly $110 million will be allocated to expanded environmental programs from the proceeds of the levy. The industry hopes that the government will assist local government and businesses to improve their recycling rates and build the necessary supporting infrastructure,” said Ritchie.
“To achieve the NSW government’s recycling targets some $400 million of new infrastructure is required in Sydney alone. The private sector is ready to invest this money and to create 1000 new jobs in related businesses. The levy increase will start that ball rolling.”
Ritchie also said that the decision to sell the state-owned waste group WSN would also open the waste industry to new competition.
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