Waste Levy frequently asked questions
  • Last updated:
  • 08 Dec 2019

Why is Sunshine Coast Council charging more for landfill?

The Queensland Government introduced a levy on waste going to all Queensland waste disposal facilities (or landfills) from 1 July 2019. 

Sunshine Coast Council is collecting the levy on behalf of the Queensland Government through business waste accounts and at council waste disposal facilities or landfills.

This will not affect the cost for residents putting out their kerbside wheelie bins.

Why is the Queensland Government introducing a waste levy?

The Queensland Government is developing a new Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy to reduce the amount of waste we generate and to grow the resource recovery and recycling industry. This strategy is underpinned by a levy on waste going to landfill.

Why do we need a waste levy?

Around 10.9 million tonnes of waste was produced in 2017-18 in Queensland, enough to fill almost 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. The amount of waste we produce is growing faster than our population.

Queensland sends more than half (55%) of our waste to landfill and is the only mainland state without a waste levy - which is making Queensland a hot spot for interstate rubbish.

How much is the levy?

The levy is $75 per tonne (excluding GST) and is applied proportionally to the amount of general waste delivered to landfill.

Higher levies apply for regulated wastes.

The Queensland Government proposes to increase the waste levy by $5 per tonne on 1 July for the next two years.

How is the levy paid?

At the end of every month, council uploads a detailed weighbridge a detailed report to the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Science (DES) database. DES then generates an invoice to council based on tonnes of landfill multiplied by $75.

Is the levy passed on in full?

Council is acting as a collection point for this levy and the full amount is passed directly onto the Queensland Government.

What does this mean for households?

The Queensland Government has committed to implementing the waste levy with no direct impact to households. To deliver this, councils will receive advance payments to offset the levy on household waste going to landfill.

There is no additional cost for household kerbside wheelie bin collection and residents self-hauling their private waste to landfill.

If you engage a business to deposit waste to landfill on your behalf, the levy may be passed on. This may include skip bin hire, builders and tradespeople charges.

Households are encouraged to recycle or reuse items whenever possible.

Who does the waste levy apply to?

The levy will apply to all commercial, business and industry customers, even if the waste is generated from a domestic premises.

The cost will be proportional to the amount of waste generated. This includes:

  • all general waste going to landfill
  • all businesses depositing waste to landfill
  • all waste bins associated with a business
  • residents who engage a business to deposit waste to landfill.

Does the levy apply to other items aside from general waste?

The levy does not apply to recyclable items, green waste or asbestos.

Can I use my business vehicle to dispose of domestic waste without paying the waste levy?

Be sure to clearly indicate to the landfill officers that the waste is personal and not to be charged the waste levy.

Identifying your commercial waste as personal is an offence under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011, and offenders could face penalties up to $39,165.

Vehicle registrations are monitored at landfill facilities and the Queensland Government will investigate and may issue fines if you are declaring commercial waste as domestic.

How can my business reduce its waste disposal costs?

Businesses are encouraged to look at how they can reduce landfill costs by:

  • reducing waste
  • separating waste streams
  • recycling as efficiently as possible
  • clearly separating loads when depositing to landfill.

The waste levy will not apply to recyclable components of loads if clearly separated.

Reducing waste and looking for alternative ways to manage your commercial waste is smart business and can lead to other economic opportunities.

The Chamber of Commerce Industry Queensland ecoBiz program is a free initiative funded by the Queensland Government that helps businesses save money across their energy, water and waste bills. Visit the ecoBiz website for details.

What can I recycle at no additional cost?

Organic waste, refrigeration appliances, e-waste, re-saleable items and paint are all examples of items that can be recycled for free at council waste disposal facilities.

Some charitable organisations will accept household items at no charge.

Please see the full list of recyclable items that can be deposited for free.

Want to know more?

Visit www.qld.gov.au/waste-disposal-levy for more information or contact DES by: