The Waste Management Industry Forum believes that if New Zealand is to achieve a significant reduction in waste a more considered strategy than progressively increasing the levy will be required.
“An early step should be development of an overall aligned waste minimization strategy with private sector business in an enhanced governance to manage levy funding and investments,” says Forum chair Michael Barnett.
The Government’s recent announcement to progressively increase and expand the waste levy to divert material from landfill won’t reduce the amount of waste produced.
“Waste is waste, and every time we collect it, handle it, transport it we add to New Zealand’s carbon footprint.”
The Forum’s strategy focus is on waste minimization (not landfill diversion) first and foremost, then reuse, recycle and recover.
That is, it is the way the levy fund is managed that will dictate what difference is achieved. Effectiveness of the levy would be measured by how much waste minimization is achieved, not how much waste is diverted or diverted from one landfill to another with lower environmental protection.
The whole levy fund should be 100% contestable. If local government has projects that will deliver reduced waste, then those projects should be evaluated against all others applying for funding.
The Forum agrees with Government that data relating to waste is incomplete and substandard, and risks poor investment and decision-making. For industry, sharing territorial authorities is a potential conflict with the Commerce Act.
To address this concern, the Forum suggest a third-party reporting aggregated data to the proposed aligned government-industry authority.
Barnett: “We remind the government – this one and the next – that the waste industry exists because of the waste created by consumers. The Waste industry wants to do what’s right for New Zealand – to minimize waste as much as possible and to manage residual waste in the most environmentally secure and efficient way for New Zealand.”
For more information call Michael Barnett on 0275 631 150. Refer to Chamber website www.aucklandchamber.co.nz/waste-management-industry-forum-submission/ for the Forum’s submission.