In Part 3 of our waste reform series we look at potential waste levy changes and what impact they may have on your business.
Waste levy changes – carrot or stick:
Currently, there is inconsistency between the Environment Protection Act 1993 (EP Act) which provides for the payment of a levy by a waste depot licensee for waste received at a depot and the Environment Protection Regulations 2009, which, in prescribing the applicable levy amount, refer instead to waste that is received at a depot for the purpose of being disposed of.
While this inconsistency has not been directly addressed in the Waste Reform Bill, we understand that in conjunction with the Bill, changes to the Environment Protection Regulations 2009 are proposed to provide for the collection of the levy for all waste received at a depot. While the EPA has indicated that there will be ‘controlled exclusions’ for when the levy will not be payable, it is not presently known what those exclusions will be. Potential consequences of the expected change to the Regulations are that the levy could become payable on waste fill received by a depot or that the levy will become payable by waste depot operators who undertake on-site resource recovery operations or otherwise re-use waste material received at the gate.
When the expected Regulation amendments are released, you should review your contractual arrangements to ensure that you have adequate provision for any uplift in disposal fees or to make sure that you have the ability to pass on those costs. You should also turn your mind to the potential for project costs to increase if the EPA provides for the levy to payable on waste fill.