About the levy increases

From 1 July 2021, the Government is progressively increasing the levy rate for Municipal facilities and expanding the national waste disposal levy to cover additional facility types. 

As shown in the table below, Municipal facilities, Construction and Demolition Facilities and Managed/Controlled Facilities have both reporting and levy obligations. Cleanfills, Industrial Monofills and Transfer Stations are not levied but are subject to reporting requirements.

Waste facility operators are responsible for determining their facility class type for levy/reporting purposes, noting that this may differ from the council consent they hold for their site. 

Operators can use the factsheet Waste levy – Determining your disposal facility class to assist them with this.

Identifying your type of facility

It is the responsibility of the facility operator to identify what type of facility they are operating.

If you have questions regarding your disposal facility class, email the Ministry at wastelevy@mfe.govt.nz.

If you are uncertain about your disposal facility class after consulting the Ministry’s guidance, you should seek legal advice.

For general information on determining your facility class, see the Determining your disposal facility factsheet

For information specific to class 2s see the Construction and demolition factsheet

For information on facilities that only have reporting requirements (cleanfills, industrial monofills and transfer stations) see the Reporting requirements factsheet.

Timeline for the increase and expansion of the waste levy and reporting requirements

 

Landfill class   Levy obligations   Reporting obligations 
Class 1 – Municipal disposal facilities  

Levy rates: 

  • 1 July 2021 - $20 per tonne 
  • 1 July 2022 - $30 per tonne  
  • 1 July 2023 - $50 per tonne  
  • 1 July 2024 - $60 per tonne
Are already levied and reporting on waste  
Class 2 – Construction and demolition disposal facilities  Levied from 1 July 2022 ($20 per tonne), increases to $30 per tonne from 1 July 2024 Must start reporting on waste from 1 January 2022
Classes 3 and 4 – Managed or controlled fill disposal facilities   Levied from 1 July 2023 ($10 per tonne) Must start reporting on waste from 1 January 2023
Class 5 – Cleanfills Levy does not apply Must start reporting on waste from 1 January 2023
Industrial Monofills Levy does not apply Must start reporting on waste from 1 January 2023
Transfer stations Levy does not apply Must start reporting on waste from 1 January 2022

Types of waste accepted

Type of facility Examples of types of waste accepted 
Class 1: Municipal disposal facility

Types of waste may include (but are not limited to):

  • mixed municipal waste from residential, commercial and industrial sources
  • construction and demolition waste
  • contaminated soils
  • rocks, gravel, sand, clay
  • sludges
  • slurries
  • putrescible waste
  • green waste
  • biosolids
  • clinical waste
  • treated hazardous waste
  • incidental hazardous waste.
 Class 2: Construction and demolition fill   

Mixed construction and demolition waste including:

  • rubble, plasterboard, treated and untreated timber
  • wood products, including softboard, hardboard, particleboard, plywood, MDF, customwood, shingles, sawdust
  • concrete, including reinforced or crushed concrete, blocks
  • clay products, including pipes, tiles
  • asphalt (all types) and roading materials, including road sub-base
  • plasterboard and Gibraltar board
  • masonry, including bricks, pavers
  • metal, or products containing metals, including corrugated iron, steel, steel-coated tiles, wire, wire rope, wire netting, aluminium fittings
  • plastic products, including plastic bags, pipes, guttering, building wrap
  • insulation products
  • laminate products, including Formica
  • flooring products, including carpet and underlay, vinyl/linoleum, cork tiles
  • paper and cardboard products, including wallpaper, lining paper, building paper
  • site clearance and excavation materials including soils, clays, rocks, gravel, tree stumps.
 Classes 3 and 4: Managed or controlled fill disposal facility   

Types of waste may include (but are not limited to) lightly contaminated soil below applicable consent limits and inert construction and demolition materials including:

  • site clearance and excavation materials including soils, clays, rocks, gravel, tree stumps
  • masonry, including bricks, pavers
  • clay products, including pipes, tiles
  • concrete, including crushed concrete and blocks (for reinforced-concrete, exposed reinforcing must be removed)
  • asphalt (bitumen-based only)
  • road sub-base.
 Class 5: Cleanfill  Virgin excavated natural materials such as clay, soil and rock.
 Industrial monofills   

Accepts disposal waste that:

  • discharges or could discharge contaminants or emissions
  • is generated from a single industrial process (e.g., steel or aluminium-making, or pulp and paper-making) carried out in one or more locations.
 Transfer stations    

The definition of a transfer station is a facility:

  • that contains a designated receiving area for waste; and
  • from which waste or any material derived from that waste is:
    • transferred to a final disposal site; or
    • transferred elsewhere for further processing; and
  • that does not itself provide long-term storage for waste or material derived from that waste.

Registering with the Online Waste Levy System (OWLS)

The OWLS is used for facilities that have reporting requirements only and facilities that have both reporting and levy requirements.

  • Class 1 facilities should already be registered
  • Class 2 facilities and transfer stations must be registered by 1 Jan 2022
  • All other facilities need to register with the OWLS by 1 July 2022 regardless of when their reporting and/or levy requirements begin.

Registration is online at https://www.wastelevy.govt.nz/

You can contact the OWLS team directly by:

Levied facilities can find more information on how to file a waste return on the factsheet Waste levy – Filing a waste return.

Facilities that just have reporting requirements can find information on reporting frequency on the factsheet Reporting requirements for industrial monofills, cleanfills and transfer stations.

For a detailed overview of the levy and reporting requirements see the Waste disposal levy guide.

Reporting requirements

Class 1-5 facilities, industrial monofills and transfer stations are required to report the tonnages of waste disposed of at, and diverted from, their facility. The timeframes for reporting requirements are detailed in the ‘levy and reporting obligations’ table above.

An operator must measure:

  • Gross tonnage - the total tonnage of waste or diverted material that enters the facility
  • Diverted tonnage - the tonnage of waste or diverted material that enters the facility but is reused, recycled or removed from the facility within six months of it arriving.

The measurement of diverted tonnage must include waste previously measured as gross tonnage. Diverted tonnage may include waste deliberately burnt at the facility to recover energy from it but not waste burnt at the facility to destroy it.

These tonnages are used to calculate net tonnage, which is the measurement used by the Ministry to calculate the levy owed (for those facilities subject to the levy).

Operators can find more information on the factsheet Waste levy – Measuring waste tonnages.

Reuse of materials on site

The WMA defines ‘reuse’ as being the further use of waste or diverted material in its existing form for the original purpose of the materials, or for a similar purpose.

It is common practice for some disposal facility operators to reuse materials disposed of on site for disposal facility management activities, such as using uncontaminated soil (or contaminated soil within acceptable levels) as cover material or using appropriate concrete in the construction of disposal facility infrastructure, for example, roading.

The purpose of the waste levy is to put a price on waste to discourage its creation and disposal, so there is a narrow view of the materials that can classify as being ‘reused’ on site.

Operators can find more information on acceptable forms of reuse on the factsheet Waste levy – Reuse of waste materials on site.

Stockpiling

Stockpiling is when waste materials are kept on site at a facility in a separate area from the landfill cell itself. It will usually consist of one type of waste or diverted material disposed of at the site, such as glass bottles, concrete, green waste or cleanfill.

Materials may be stockpiled for several reasons:

  • the materials are being collected until it becomes economical to transport waste to another site to be processed for recycling or reuse
  • the materials are being stockpiled for later use on the disposal facility site itself, such as stockpiling crushed concrete to be used on site for roading.

According to the WMA, waste can only be recorded as diverted material if it is reused, recycled or removed from the site within six months of it being deposited.

This means that any waste stockpiled for longer than six months cannot be recorded as diverted tonnage and will be subject to the levy, even if diverted later from the site.

If you want to stockpile material for longer than six months, you will need to seek approval for an extension from the Ministry. You can submit a request for an extension through OWLS.

Operators can find more information on stockpiling in the factsheet Waste levy – Stockpiling waste.