News | 25th Mar, 2010

Landfill charges to rise sharply

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The cost of dumping rubbish in landfill will escalate dramatically under a state government plan to encourage recycling and create ''green jobs''.

From July 1, the cost of discarding rubbish at a landfill tip will jump to $30 a tonne – up from $9 for council waste and $15 for industrial rubbish. By 2014-15, the cost will be $53.20.

It is estimated the average Melbourne ratepayer will be charged about $15 extra a year to offset the cost to councils.

Environment Minister Gavin Jennings said the increased landfill levies would boost recycling rates beyond 70 per cent and create up to 700 jobs. ''For a long time the cost of sending valuable materials to landfill has been too low,'' he said. ''Within the next decade across … Melbourne we will have one-third fewer landfills than today.''

The plan divided business groups, was applauded by environmentalists and criticised by councils, which said they faced the brunt of a community backlash to the increased costs.

Virtually all groups welcomed that about $54 million of revenue raised would be spent encouraging recycling and reducing waste. The Environment Protection Authority would get $11 million, in part to create a ''strike team'' to counter an expected rise in illegal rubbish dumping.

The remainder of levy revenue – estimated at $180 million over five years – would be spent on a green fund run by Sustainability Victoria.

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