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Businesses would be wise to start reducing waste

April 15, 2008

Businesses would be wise to start work on reducing waste to landfill

Businesses would be wise to start looking at how to reduce waste to landfill, giving coming waste and emissions charges likely to be levied here.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development – whose 71 member companies’ annual sales equate to 34% of gross domestic product in dollar terms – says it expects a private members bill imposing an initial $10 per tonne levy on solid waste going to landfill, to pass.

And waste will come under the proposed emissions trading scheme from 2013. This will particularly affect companies taking high greenhouse gas content wastes, like organic waste, to landfills.

Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says while a proposed new levy on solid waste to landfill will start at $10 per tonne, it is expected to increase over time.

“A prudent business would recognise the charges are coming and starting thinking now about how to change their processes to cut waste.” Mr Neilson says the Business Council would also like the Government to measure the actual costs of various types of waste before any future levy rise.

“In this way we can see the true external cost of a waste producer to the environment and the community from each type of solid waste. The externalities, as they are called, won’t all be the same. The levy is a price instrument which should be used in the most targeted way possible to change behaviour,” he says.

The Business Council supports the proposed waste levy. Mr Neilson says ShapeNZ nationwide polling of 2791 people in the past month shows 74% public support for the measure proposed waste levy.

(The weighted survey has a margin of error of +/- 1.9%). The Business Council congratulated MPs for delivering cross party support for sensible legislation.


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