Media release: Waste levy and grants for waste infrastructure

The Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford released a report today that examined the effectiveness of the waste levy and grants for waste infrastructure in minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill and increasing recycling rates.  

The audit found that the waste levy has a positive impact on diverting waste from landfill. However, while the levy rates increase each year in line with the consumer price index, the EPA has not conducted a review since 2009 to confirm whether they are set at the optimal level. The audit also found that there were no objective and transparent criteria for which local government areas should pay the levy, and the list of levied local government areas has not been reviewed since 2014. 

Grant funding programs for waste infrastructure administered by the EPA and the Environmental Trust have supported increases in recycling capacity. However, these grant programs are not guided by a clear strategy for investment in waste infrastructure. 

The Auditor-General made six recommendations aimed at ensuring the waste levy is as effective as possible at meeting its objectives and ensuring funding for waste infrastructure is contributing effectively to recycling and waste diversion targets.

Further information

Please contact Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7347 or email