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Territorial authorities contribution to minimising waste 2019/2020

 

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) collects the waste disposal levy (the levy) from Disposal Facility Operators under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (the Act).

Where does the waste disposal levy money go

In 2019/20, MfE collected $35 million. Half of this (around $17.4 million) was distributed to New Zealand’s 67 Territorial Authorities (TAs) as required by the Act. Distribution to TAs is on a population basis, with the Auckland region receiving the most funding ($6 million) and Chathams Island receiving the least ($1700).

The levy may only be spent on promoting or achieving the waste minimisation activities set out in waste management and minimisation plans (WMMPs). These can be found on each Territorial Authority website.

How the waste disposal levy money is spent

Territorial Authorities have flexibility when it comes to how they spend their funding, and the Ministry collects data each year on where the levy money goes. Over the 2019/20 financial year, spending focused on providing waste minimisation services (such as kerbside recycling) and education and communication projects.

The data from the 2019/20 reporting mirrors the spend patterns over the last 5 years.

Most levy funds are being directed to recycling services and education programs. However, for the 2019/20 year, there was a notable increase in recovery initiatives by local government, such as setting up recovery facilities for items to be diverted from landfill and resold to the community.

Waste disposal levy audit

MfE’s audit programme shows that TAs have been successful in ensuring the levy received is spent only on matters to promote or achieve waste minimisation.