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 and grow the resource recovery and recycling industry, and create new jobs.

This is underpinned by a waste levy, which commenced on 1 July 2019.

The levy zone includes 39 out of 77 local government areas. This covers around 90% of Queensland’s population and is where the majority of waste is generated and disposed. Waste disposed of in the levy zone, or waste that originates in the levy zone or interstate and is disposed of in the non-levy zone will be liable for the levy (see levy liabilities table).

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.

Between 2019 and 2022, it is expected that 70% of revenue generated through the waste levy will be allocated to advance payments to councils, scheme start-up and operational costs, industry programs 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 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 if 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. The formula for calculating these annual payments is 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.

Levy liabilities

Waste generated inWaste disposed inLevy payable
Levy zone or outside QueenslandLevy zoneYes
Levy zone or outside QueenslandNon-levy zoneYes
Non-levy zoneLevy zoneYes
Non-levy zoneNon-levy zoneNo