The government really hates Auckland: here comes another tax

This government really hate Auckland. They are pinging motorists with massive fuel tax hikes to fund public transport bludgers, they’ve cancelled road improvements, and now they seem intent on taxing us for our rubbish: Quote:

New Zealanders could pay a $140 per tonne tax to dump waste at all landfills across the country as piles of plastic mount.

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said increasing the waste levy from $10 per tonne and applying it to all landfills, not just 10 per cent of them, would help respond to China’s refusal to process our plastic rubbish.

China banned imports of all contaminated plastic waste last year in a move dubbed the ‘National Sword’. It came into effect in January.

Sage said piles of recycling had mounted at small sorting stations. Larger recycling sorting companies had found capacity in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to export New Zealanders’ plastic waste to.

Last year New Zealand recycling companies sent 41 million kilograms of plastic waste offshore to be processed, according to Statistics New Zealand export data. More than 7 million kgs went to China.

Australia-based Visy Recycling, Reclaim, Green Gorilla, EnviroWaste and Waste Management are the major operators that collect and sort New Zealanders’ waste.

Stuff investigation into New Zealand’s recycling industry earlier this year, revealed New Zealand recycling companies were bartering for space at processing facilities in other Asian countries following China’s move.

Sage had set up a taskforce within the Ministry for the Environment to tackle the growing problem caused by the National Sword, she announced on Friday.

“MfE has been working with councils, businesses, recyclers and processors and others to develop some short term solutions to the fact that we no longer have that market in China. I’m expecting advice back from them. I’ve also asked the waste advisory board for some advice on that as well.”

The taskforce could force Aucklanders to separate their recyclable waste. 

The co-mingling of waste like glass, paper and plastic was what led China to stop accepting it, Sage said.

“Where you have separation at source, it makes the whole recycling process much better. We’ve got to shift to that to enable us to deal with the issues from the national sword.”

Auckland was “a problem,” because it did not separate its waste and did not have an organic collection.

The waste levy, charged at landfills, made up the Waste Minimisation Fund. It collected about $13 million annually.

Half of the money was granted to businesses bettering waste management, and the other half to local government to fund schemes that minimised or helped process waste in their area.

Sage said councils, like Auckland’s, could be forced to enact the separation of recyclable waste. 

“If councils [are] going to access the money under the fund to assist with their waste minimisation, they are going to have to satisfy some more criteria and separation may well be one of those.”

However, mandating that was not a priority, she said. “The waste levy, manage product stewardship schemes, dealing with single-use plastic bags, are first in the queue.” End quo

I think Auckland Council should focus on rubbish collection, not on stupid light rail projects.

It seems the government really hates Auckland and Auckland voters. Lumbering us with another tax isn’t really a vote winner.

I sure as hell am not going to separate my waste. I just want one big bin to chuck it all in and get it taken away. My rates pay for this, yet because I live in Rodney we don’t actually have a city rubbish collection service. We have to pay for it ourselves. So if you are going to increase my taxes then the very least I want is a bloody rubbish collection.

Fix my rubbish services and then I might think about separating my recycling. I pay rates for it and now I want it.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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