SCENIC Rim Regional Council says it hasbeen working with businesses across the region to raise awareness of commercial impacts associated with the introduction of the Queensland Government's waste levy on July 1.
Mayor Greg Christensen said information about the new charges for commercial waste has been provided directly to businesses which are known generators of commercial waste and to users of council's waste facilities.
"As everyone will be aware, the Queensland Government has implemented a zero waste strategy for the state which includes the introduction on July 1 of the waste levy of $75 per tonne on commercial operators disposing of waste to landfill," he said.
"This is part of a new strategy across Queensland to increase recycling and the recovery of resources, wherever possible, to reduce the volume of waste going into landfill.
"In a break with tradition, council last month adopted its fees and charges schedule ahead of the delivery of its 2019-20 Budget to ensure businesses had as much visibility as possible of charges likely to impact their operations, so that they could plan ahead.
"It is important for the community to realise these charges have been mandated by the Queensland Government and will have an impact on a range of businesses as they apply to solid waste, commercial and industrial waste and construction and demolition waste."
Council said while the levy would impact commercial gate fees at waste facilities, it would not directly affect residents who generate domestic household waste.
In addition to council gate fees, the levy rate of $75 per tonne will apply to general mixed commercial waste, including treated timber, sawdust and shavings.
Fees of $155 per tonne and $105 per tonne respectively will apply to the disposal of materials classed as Regulated Waste Category 1 and Regulated Waste Category 2 under the Environmental Protection Amendment Regulation 2018.
Cr Christensen said the fee structure for vehicles delivering waste to council's facilities commenced at $12 for a commercial car. The levy portion of these fees was based on the weight measurement criteria allocation determined by the Queensland government.
He said council had been working to provide information to businesses on how they could reduce their disposal costs.
"Good separation of recyclables from general or 'co-mingled' waste and not presenting both in a single load at a waste facility is a key to reducing cost," Cr Christensen said.
"For example, if a business operator generating construction waste manages their site activities to separate clean soil and concrete, compiles these separately and delivers them separately to Council's Central Landfill, the concrete component may cost only $46.50 per tonne. The clean earth may attract no charge as it can be recycled.
"Smaller operators delivering waste in utilities or trailers are encouraged to stockpile materials until they have a full load to achieve best value for their disposal fees."
Commercial operators are encouraged to visit the Queensland Government website, qld.gov.au/waste-disposal-levy, or speak with Council's Waste Services staff about ways to better manage waste to minimise the impacts of the waste levy.
"The levy aims to encourage Queenslanders to reduce waste and reuse and recycle more materials so that only waste that cannot be recovered is sent to landfill," Cr Christensen said.
"I acknowledge there is clearly some financial pain in the waste levy for commercial operators, however I believe the long-term goal to be more responsible stewards of the environment is widely shared across our Scenic Rim community which has been keen to embrace recycling."
Commercial operators can contact council's Waste Services team on 5540 5111 for specific details on how the waste levy will impact their business.