Victorian Government Landfill Levy.
I support moves by the Victorian Government to decrease waste in landfills through a landfill levy but proposals for mega in-vessel processing plants to divert green waste from landfill will create other environmental problems and cost ratepayers more.
Ratepayers will pay councils $15 more to have their rubbish removed due to the landfill levy and may have to pay more to make up the price differential between disposal to landfill and disposal to the Alternative Waste Treatment (AWT) facilities. The Metro Plan establishes a price differential between disposal to landfill and disposal to AWTs of between $20 and $51 per tonne depending on the resource recovery performance of the AWTs. This differential includes an assumption of a landfill levy of $10 per tonne. (The metropolitan municipal landfill levy is currently $9 per tonne.)
Using the higher end of the CPRS modelling, the price difference between disposal to new landfill and recycling would be between $6 and $37 per tonne. Using lowest end of the CPRS modelling, the shortfall would be as much as $48 per tonne.
Under the new proposals residents will be encouraged to deposit all their food waste and green waste into the rubbish bin instead of composting at home, because councils need to guarantee a certain percentage of waste volume to the in-vessel processing plants. The processing plants will then convert the rubbish into compost for commercial purposes.
Our community is already paying $10M in developing the business case for these mega in vessel plants and the state government will no doubt commit more of tax payers’ money to offset the predicted $30M set up costs for each facility. In addition, food waste will need to be transported everyday across Victoria to a small number of purpose built facilities instead of being processed locally.
The landfill levy must be returned to local councils. The money should be used to fund education for residents to turn food and green waste into compost for home and community gardens, and to set up council owned, small scale plants so that land fill is reduced, and residents are not paying to have it removed and processed for the use of big agricultural companies.