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Bin Tax


Did you know that every time you put your bin out, you’re paying a State Government tax?

This hidden Bin Tax is going up by an unprecedented 40% in 2019/20.

The Solid Waste Levy is a tax paid to the State Government by councils, industry and households on the waste that goes to landfill – including your household rubbish collected by your council.

The levy started at $5 per tonne. It was $100 per tonne in 2018/19, but by January 2020 it will cost an unprecedented $140 per tonne in the metro area and half that in regional SA (second increase of 27% for 2019/20 bringing the total to 40%).

The State Government’s unjustified 40% increase on the Solid Waste Levy will cost South Australian councils and ratepayers an extra $8.5 million in 2019/20.

In total the Solid Waste Levy will take $42.5 million out of the hip pocket of ratepayers next year and put it into State Government coffers.

This is on top of $120 million already collected and supposedly sitting in a state government fund to be used to reduce waste.

Every council in South Australia has been consulting with their communities about every aspect of their budgets and working hard to deliver some of the lowest rate increases in recent years.

Meanwhile the State Government was working behind closed doors to increase this stealth tax by 40% - with no consultation, no warning and no explanation.

Councils are now working out how to fund this State Government bin tax hike. It’s your money being taken out of your community.

That’s how the State Government’s Bin Tax will hurt households and impact on your cost of living.
Contact your State Member of Parliament today and tell them that the Bin Tax stinks!

Only a small fraction of the Solid Waste Levy paid by councils is returned to local government

  • Don’t be fooled into thinking that this money is passed back to councils.

    50% of the Solid Waste Levy has historically been used to fund the operations of the State Government’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA).  This is the same State Government agency that has shifted litter and nuisance responsibilities to councils at a cost to councils and ratepayers.

    The other 50% has gone into the State Government’s Green Industry Fund.  This Fund was originally established to support projects and programs that reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  Now it’s used like other state taxes to fund State Government projects with absolutely no link to waste or recycling.

    Councils and industry will have to compete for a share of a $2.5 million annual grant program over the next 4 years despite over $42.5 million forecast to be collected in 18/19 and $185 million in the next four years.

    That’s $42.5 million going in this year and only $2.5 million coming out to help local councils, communities and the waste sector reduce waste to landfill

We are already facing a waste crisis – this 40% increase will only make it worse

  • The China National Sword policy has effectively closed the world’s biggest market for recyclables and triggered a global recycling crisis.

    A 40% increase in the Solid Waste Levy punishes the waste and resources sector at a critical time when greater investment is needed to support innovation and create new markets for recycled products.

    Research commissioned by the LGA shows that the impact of China Sword on SA councils is at least and $8.8 million every year on top of the $42.5 million bin tax

Increasing the Solid Waste Levy alone won’t divert waste from landfill

  • The latest available figures show that in the 5 years to 2017/18, the waste levy increased by 148% but the amount of municipal waste sent to landfill decreased by only 7%.

    The reduction in waste sent to landfill in recent years is much more likely to be the result of other measures such as all metropolitan councils introducing the three-bin system, increased waste education programs and a greater focus on recycling and recovery.

    While councils encourage and educate households to use their recycling and green waste bins as effectively as possible, the levy price signal does not reach individual householders for kerbside waste and does not incentivise better waste management practices on an individual level.

Be prepared to see more illegal dumping in your community

  • Inability or unwillingness to pay is a key cause of illegal dumping.

    As the cost of disposing of household items increases due to the escalating Bin Tax, we’re more likely to see these items dumped on the side of the road or in parks and other public spaces.

    Illegal dumping is a significant issue, which is estimated to cost councils around $5-10 million every year. 

    Councils are hit twice in dealing with illegal dumping – they have to pay the clean-up costs and then pay the Solid Waste Levy to dispose of the dumped rubbish.

    These are more costs putting pressure on council rates. 

    Many councils offer hard rubbish collection or e-waste disposal programs.  If you have household items that you would like to dispose of, please contact your council to find how they might be able to help.

The Bin Tax impacts on the cost of living and your council’s ability to deliver the services you want.

  • First the State Government wanted to cap council rates, and now they want to use your rates as a state government tax.

    The unprecedented 40% hike in the Solid Waste Levy puts another $8.5 million of extra pressure on council budgets on top of the $34 million in bin tax they were already forced to pay.

    For many households this will unfortunately have a direct impact on the rates that you will pay.

    This is called cost shifting.

    The State Government has hidden this Bin Tax in your rates so that councils get the blame for higher rates.

    This is called blame shifting.

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