Waste levy changes from 1 July 2022

To help Queensland reach its waste and resource recovery targets, several changes are being made to the way the waste levy operates.

The Queensland Government has created a $2.1 billion waste and resource recovery package, including a $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund, that will help build infrastructure to recover more resources from waste and continue to ensure households are not directly impacted by the waste levy.

New levy zone

From 1 July 2022, the existing levy zone will be divided into two new zones:

  • the metro zone—made up of the 12 local government areas in South-East Queensland, including Noosa and Toowoomba
  • the regional zone—made up of the remaining 27 local government areas in the current levy zone.

The non-levy zone will not change.

  • Brisbane City Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Ipswich City Council
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Redland City Council
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council
  • Toowoomba Regional Council
  • Banana Shire Council
  • Bundaberg Regional Council
  • Burdekin Shire Council
  • Cairns Regional Council
  • Cassowary Coast Regional Council
  • Central Highlands Regional Council
  • Charters Towers Regional Council
  • Douglas Shire Council
  • Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • Gladstone Regional Council
  • Goondiwindi Regional Council
  • Gympie Regional Council
  • Hinchinbrook Shire Council
  • Isaac Regional Council
  • Livingstone Shire Council
  • Mackay Regional Council
  • Maranoa Regional Council
  • Mareeba Shire Council
  • Mount Isa City Council
  • North Burnett Regional Council
  • Rockhampton Regional Council
  • South Burnett Regional Council
  • Southern Downs Regional Council
  • Tablelands Regional Council
  • Townsville City Council
  • Western Downs Regional Council
  • Whitsunday Regional Council

Levy rates increases

The current levies will increase at different rates in the two new zones. This reflects that South-East Queensland landfills the most waste and has greater opportunities for recycling and resource recovery.

From 1 July 2022, all the levy rates in the:

  • metro zone will increase annually by $10 per tonne, each year, until the general levy rate reaches $145 per tonne on 1 July 2027. All levy rates will then increase each year in line with the consumer price index.
  • regional zone will increase in line with the consumer price index each year.
Type of waste Levy zone (from 1 July 2022) Levy rate (per tonne) increases (per financial year)
2021‑22 2022‑23 2023‑24 2024‑25 2025‑26 2026‑27 2027‑28 2028‑29 2029‑30
General levy rate (i.e. other levyable waste) Metro $85 $95 $105 $115 $125 $135 $145 CPI increase CPI increase
Regional $85 CPI increase
Treated timber sawdust and shavings Metro $85 $95 $105 $115 $125 $135 $145 CPI increase CPI increase
Regional $85 CPI increase
Earth contaminated with a hazardous contaminant from land recorded on the environmental management register or contaminated land register Metro $85 $95 $105 $115 $125 $135 $145 CPI increase CPI increase
Regional $85 CPI increase
Regulated waste:
Category 1
Metro $165 $175 $185 $195 $205 $215 $225 CPI increase CPI increase
Regional $165 CPI increase
Regulated waste:
Category 2
Metro $115 $125 $135 $145 $155 $165 $175 CPI increase CPI increase
Regional $115 CPI increase

Changes to annual payments to councils

Since the waste levy started, annual payments have been provided to councils to ensure that the levy has no direct impact on households. The Queensland Government is the only government that provides this payment.

From 1 July 2022, all eligible councils will continue to receive a 105% annual payment.

From 1 July 2023, the annual payment will be reduced year on year, until it reaches 20 percent of the 2021–2022 payment for:

  • councils in the metro zone
  • regional councils in Bundaberg, Cairns, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville.

The annual payment for all other eligible councils will continue at 100% from 1 July 2023.

The waste and recycling funding package will make an estimated $1 billion available for annual payments.

Funding available to local councils for resource recovery will increase from 1 July 2022 under the $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund.

Annual payments to councils will be reviewed again in 2025.

Levy zone (from 1 July 2022) Annual payments percentage (to be received in financial year)
(Baseline year to calculate annual payments is 2021–22)
Metro and regional councils in Bundaberg, Cairns, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville 105% 95% 85% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20%
Regional 105% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Changes to waste levy exemptions

From 1 July 2023, the levy exemption for clean earth disposed to landfill will be removed. Clean earth is a resource that can be used for many purposes other than disposal in landfills. The Queensland Government is the only government that provides a levy exemption for clean earth, one of the most disposed waste types since the levy started.

From this date, disposal of clean earth into landfill will be charged at the general waste levy rate of the levy zone it is generated in. This start date allows business and industry time to build capacity and processes to divert this resource away from landfill.

In addition, the rules for the levy exemption for waste used by landfill operators for operational purposes will also be reviewed, with changes to be in place by 1 July 2023.

Levy zone map