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National waste levy may be acceptable

Media statement Wednesday, April 5, 2006

National waste levy may be acceptable

A levy on wastes heading to landfill may be acceptable to business if it were fiscally neutral, the Employers &Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

“A national levy or tax on waste could be acceptable provided all the funding generated from it was recycled into minimising waste streams,” said Alasdair Thompson, EMA’s chief executive.

He was commenting on Waste Management Ltd’s recommendation for such a levy following the court’s rejection of the waste levies
promoted by four local government authorities.

EMA strongly opposed the plans of Waitakere City, North Shore City and Rodney District Council to levy kerbside waste collection on the basis that business has no confidence the councils would implement effective waste minimisation strategies with the funds.

“For the levy to be acceptable, we would need to see it going direct to fund appropriate waste minimisation programmes and research. On no account would a waste levy be acceptable if the funds collected from it went to the consolidated fund.

“The funding would have to be used either for local councils to bid for building such as plant to recycle wastes like building demolition materials, or into research that will lead to creating market demand for materials that otherwise end up as landfill.”

ENDS

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