Waste disposal levy expansion

From 1 July 2021, the Government is progressively increasing and expanding the national waste disposal levy. It uses the revenue gathered from the waste disposal levy for initiatives to reduce waste and encourage resource recovery (eg, composting and recycling).

What the expansion of the waste disposal levy involves

The waste disposal levy expansion involves:

  • Progressively increasing over four years the levy rate for landfills that take household waste from the current $10 per tonne – set in 2009 – to $60 per tonne as of July 2024.
  • Expanding the waste levy to cover additional landfill types, including construction and demolition fills. At present the waste levy only applies to municipal landfills that take household waste, with no levy on the remaining almost 90 per cent of landfills throughout the country.
  • Collecting better data about the waste we are creating, and how we are disposing of it, so our waste can be better managed.
  • Investing the additional revenue from the waste levy in initiatives that support waste reduction, such as building New Zealand-based recycling infrastructure.

Phase 2 of the expansion

On 31 May 2024 the Government agreed to a second phase of waste disposal levy rate increases. The levy rate increases are incremental and phased over three years (in 2025/26, 2026/27 and 2027/28).

They are at a lower rate of increase than over the last four years.

Future rates for the waste disposal levy per tonne

Facility Class Waste types Current 1 July 2024 1 July 2025 1 July 2026 1 July 2027
Municipal landfill (class 1) Mixed municipal wastes from residential, commercial and industrial sources $50 $60 $65 $70 $75
Construction and demolition fill (class 2) Accepts solid waste from construction and demolition activities, including rubble, plasterboard, timber, and other materials $20 $30 $35 $40 $45
Managed or controlled fill facility (class 3 and 4)

On or more of:

  • contaminated but non-hazardous soils and other inert materials (eg, rubble) 
  • soils and other inert materials.
$10 $10 $15 $15 $20


Disposal facility operators must pay the levy based on the weight of material disposed of at their facility. However they may pass this cost on to the waste producer such as households and businesses.

What increasing and expanding the levy does

The additional levy revenue will provide additional opportunities for supporting central government waste-related and environmental activities and responsibilities. 

By increasing the cost of disposal, the levy provides a financial incentive for those generating waste to reduce what they send to landfill. The use of levy funds (ie, revenue raised from levy applied at disposal) also supports alternatives like recycling and composting to be more commercially viable.

A higher levy imposed on waste disposal creates a stronger disincentive to divert materials from landfill and explore increased recovery and recycling of materials.

The increased levy funds will enable a substantial increase in the funds available for contaminated site remediation. 

Territorial authorities

Territorial authorities will receive an increase in revenue from their levy allocation over the three-year period.

The proposed levy rate increases have been modelled to raise an additional $171 million in revenue over the three years (2025-2027) with 50 per cent of this allocated to territorial authorities, as currently, to implement their Waste Management and Minimisation Plans.


Public consultation held on the proposed expansion of the levy

A public consultation was held in November 2019 to February 2020 on the proposed expansion of the levy. More than 80 per cent of submitters agreed the status quo needed to change. Most were broadly in support of increasing and expanding the levy.

Public consultation on the proposed national waste levy

Summary of submissions from the public consultation

Cabinet paper: Proposals for a more effective waste levy

Regulatory impact statement: Increase and expansion of waste disposal levy