About Queensland's waste levy
Queensland’s waste management and resource recovery strategy provides a strategic framework to reduce the amount of waste we generate, transition to a circular economy, grow the resource recovery and recycling industry, and create new jobs.
This is underpinned by Queensland’s waste disposal levy, which commenced on 1 July 2019. The levy is payable on all waste (including waste generated in another state or territory) disposed to a levyable waste disposal site within the levy zone or, if it has been generated within the levy zone and disposed of to a landfill outside the levy zone in Queensland (see levy liabilities table).
Using the returns from the levy revenue, the Queensland Government is investing in a $2.1 billion waste and resource recovery package over ten years, including a $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund. The fund will help to improve the way products are made, used and recovered so that we are using less, using things for longer and avoiding waste going to landfill.
The levy zone is divided into two areas, covering 39 out of Queensland's 77 local government areas:
- the metro zone—comprising 12 south-east Queensland local government areas
- the regional zone—made up of the remaining 27 local government areas in the current levy zone.
Why have a waste levy?
The waste levy aims to:
- reduce the amount of waste going to landfill
- encourage waste avoidance
- provide a source of funding to enable better resource recovery practices
- provide certainty and security of feedstocks for advanced technology
- facilitate industry investment in resource recovery infrastructure.
The Queensland Government has committed that 70% of the levy revenue will be reinvested into waste management and resource recovery projects, infrastructure and initiatives, including local government annual payments to ensure there is no direct cost to households from the levy, and other environmental priorities.
All waste going to landfill in Queensland will incur the relevant levy rate unless the waste is both generated and disposed of in the non-levy zone. There are exemptions for some specific types of waste, such as waste that results from a declared disaster.
Who pays the levy?
Landfill operators (local councils and private businesses) pay the levy to the Queensland Government based on the amount of levyable waste disposed of to landfill.
Disposal of waste for the purposes of the waste levy is any activity that is required to be licensed under the EP Act for waste disposal (ERA60). View the requirements for waste disposal site operators for more information.
Landfill operators will make a business decision on whether, and how, the levy is passed through to their customers.
No direct impact on households
The Queensland Government has committed to ensuring the levy has no direct impact on households. To deliver this, councils receive annual payments to offset the direct costs of the waste levy liability incurred on the disposal of household and some other municipal solid wastes. The amounts for these payments, over a four year period are set out in the regulation.
Councils are also provided with an additional payment to offset the direct cost of the levy for households with a council commercial waste collection service not covered by this arrangement. This includes caravan parks, manufactured home parks, retirement villages, boarding houses, gated communities and rural residents with commercial bulk-waste arrangements.
Proprietors of eligible residential premises with a private waste collection service (i.e. not provided by council) or a mix of commercial and residential use, regardless of who provides the service, are able to apply for funding to offset the cost of the levy to residents.
|Source of waste||Destination of waste||Applicable levy rate|
|Metro area||Metro area||Metro area levy rate|
|Regional area||Metro area levy rate|
|Non-levy zone||Metro area levy rate|
|Regional area||Metro area||Metro area levy rate|
|Regional area||Regional area levy rate|
|Non-levy zone||Regional area levy rate|
|Non-levy zone, which includes waste from other jurisdictions||Metro area||Metro area levy rate|
Metro area levy rate|
Regional area levy rate
|Non-levy zone||No levy|