In Australia, one of the rapidly growing issues is waste management, particularly because people are now producing more waste than they did a few years ago. Between the year 2002 and 2006, the generation of waste in the country increased by around 31 percent to over 43.8 million metric tonnes. The result was the launch of waste reform programs across the country at State, Commonwealth and the local government levels. The complexity of state legislation and Commonwealth and the high costs associated with the increasing waste means that any business in the country has to ensure that it is managing waste effectively and reducing the output.
New South Wales Reform
In the year 2012, the Environment Minister, Hon. Robyn Parker accredited KPMG to do an independent review of the waste in New South Wales and Environment Levy. The ministry established the levy under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) to help in waste avoidance and the recovery of resources by making financial disincentive to transporting waste to landfill and then channelling the revenue to the resource recovery infrastructure. More recently, people started criticising the levy for:
- Generation of illegal dumping
- Inappropriate revenue allocation
- Being very expensive and contributing a large portion of the waste transported across the country’s borders. The producers of this waste do that with the aim of reducing or avoiding levy payment.
In addition to that, the waste levy has successfully improved the recycling rates in New South Wales. Between the year 2010 and 2011, the businesses and residents in NSW recycled around 63 percent of the waste they generated. That is more than the 45 percent they recycled between the year 2002 and the year 2003.
KPMG review influenced the NSW Government to release the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, which is a 5-year $465.7 million waste collection and recycling agenda for New South Wales. The aim of this initiative was to transform the waste and the recycling processes in NSW. The other aims were to change the waste levy and increase recycling. The government spends over $250 million for every five years to fund:
- New recycling infrastructure and large-scale waste infrastructure to support the communities that have been paying the waste levy.
- The upgrade of recycling facilities
- The drop-off centres
- The garden and food organics processing
- Support for businesses and recycling innovation for businesses to increase on-site recycling.
The Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, which commenced in July 2013, introduced new local council programs. They involved Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payment, which the waste producers have to pay to the eligible councils after every five years as a way of supporting the waste and recycling initiatives.
The ministry improves the operation of that waste levy through structural adjustment program with an aim of helping NSW metal shredders in addition to reinstating 10 percent exemption levy for any disposal of virgin excavated materials. The amendments formed part of the NSW Waste Regulation review.
What the NSW Waste Less, Recycle More initiative means for you
The NSW Government decided to extend the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative up to 2021 in the year 2017 with further $337 million funding. The extension guaranteed to fund from 1st July 2017 until 2021 as a way of continuing the underway work to improve the waste management in NSW, recycling services and deliver waste to ensure that the environment is clean. The 2017-21 Waste Less, Recycle More brochure provided more information on the priorities, programs and grants and the program extension. Therefore,
- In the near future, you are likely to see more Federal intervention when it comes to tackling the issues of waste management and ensuring that Australia has met its international obligations.
- The waste reforms are likely to bring about more important opportunities and changes for businesses.
- The waste levy, particularly in New South Wales will discourage poor waste management practices – the businesses should invest in and explore the waste reduction and recycling initiatives that minimise the waste that contributes to a landfill.
- The incentive for businesses and residents to reduce waste will continue and technologies, including conversion of waste to energy, are likely to offer more options for people who want to deal with the eligible waste fuels.
- The reforms show that the government will penalise businesses that produce more waste and increase the levies for such businesses. If you are a business owner, you should come up with ways of reducing and managing the waste from your business so that you can reduce the regulatory risk.
The NSW Waste Less, Recycle More initiative encourages the local communities to think in a different way when it comes to recycling, waste avoidance, illegal dumping and littering. The program delivers value for money waste infrastructure for easier households to do what is right. It is also driving innovative regulatory approaches as a way of protecting the environment and supporting waste program investments.
Paul’s Rubbish Removal supports the decision to recycle waste when possible and helping the local community with quick and affordable rubbish removal. The availability of a 24/7 rubbish removal service certainly helps with minimising and reducing the number of illegal rubbish dumping activities.