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Waste and recycling on the Gold Coast

Information about waste and recycling services on the Gold Coast is available in one central location.

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Recycling & reducing waste

Man and woman discussing recycling waste options

There are many ways to reduce the waste delivered to City of Gold Coast landfills each day.

The City has developed a draft Solid Waste Strategy as a guide to increase recycling and reduce waste, but we need everyone's help to achieve the set targets. We have some useful tips on how you can easily reduce the waste you produce at home, work and play.

We have a recycling business directory which can help you find the local businesses that recycle many unwanted materials either free or for a fee. Planet Ark also has two national recycling directories - Recycling near you (domestic recycling) and Business Recycling (commercial recycling). The directories have great information about materials you can recycle and reuse.

In an effort to make waste management charges simpler and easier to understand the City has changed the way we charge for commercial waste collection services. Please see the Commercial waste management page for more information on our waste management services.

State Government initiatives

See the sections below for more information about State Government waste and recycling initiatives.

Containers for Change program

The State Government Containers for Change program launched on 1 November 2018.

The introduction of the State-wide scheme provides our community with an opportunity to collect and return approved containers for recycling in exchange for a refund.

This will encourage:

  • a reduction in the amount of littered drink containers
  • increased recycling rates in Queensland.

Like other councils in Queensland, the City is supportive of this State Government initiative; however, collection depots will (generally) be run by private organisations who were awarded a contract via a tender-style process.

The program will also provide benefits to social enterprises, communities, and regional and remote areas by creating new job, recycling and fundraising opportunities.

Residents can continue to recycle bottles, cans and cartons in their yellow top recycle bins should they choose not to redeem a refund on eligible containers.

As part of our ongoing commitment to divert waste from landfill, we contract recyclers such as the Endeavour Foundation to recover re-saleable goods from our landfills and recycling drop-offs.

For more details or frequently asked questions, please visit the Containers for Change website.

Waste Disposal Levy

The Queensland State Government introduced a Waste Disposal Levy (Waste Levy) on 1 July 2019.

The introduction of the Waste Levy underpins a new waste management and resource recovery strategy being developed by the Queensland Government. The strategy minimises waste being sent to landfills and diverts recoverable items for recycling.

The Waste Levy will apply to all types of waste, with some exemptions, and will consist of a $75 per tonne increase in waste disposal costs.

The Waste Levy will apply to all businesses, organisations and commercial operators who generate waste and dispose of waste in Queensland, either directly or through service providers.

The Queensland Government has committed to ensuring the levy has no direct impact on households. To deliver this, councils will receive annual payments to offset the costs of the Waste Levy on Municipal Solid Waste.

Not-for-profit groups are encouraged to apply for a Waste Levy exemption through the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO).

There are many Queensland households who have commercial waste collection services which are not covered by this arrangement. Some examples may include caravan parks, manufactured home parks, retirement villages, boarding houses, crisis accommodation, gated communities and rural residents with commercial bulk-waste arrangements. To ensure all households are not directly impacted by the levy, the department has developed a Household Waste Payment Scheme to offset the cost of the levy for residents in these types of accommodation. Proprietors are required to apply on behalf of eligible households under their proprietorship.

Click here for further information, or to make an application to the Household Waste Payment Scheme.

Explore all avenues to ensure you are ‘Waste Levy ready’. You may be eligible for:

  • a commercial food waste recycling service
  • an appropriate size recycling bin to recycle as much as possible
  • amending your service requirements – reduce your financial impact by ensuring you are not being over-serviced
  • search our recycling business directory to help you find local waste recycling facilities and businesses that can accept or collect your unwanted items for recycling
  • contact ecoBiz - a free program which helps businesses to reduce their energy, water and waste costs.

For more information, please see the frequently asked questions below or visit the Queensland State Government’s website.

The waste to landfill levy contribution made by commercial entities is calculated by the City as:

  • Waste Levy contribution (annual cost) = Average weight in tonnes x Number of weekly collections x Levy x 52 weeks

Example: A customer’s bin capacity is 240 litres; the average weight of 240 litre bins is just over 15kg (0.01502 tonne). The bin is collected 3 times a week and the levy is $75 per tonne. The calculation is:

  • Waste Levy contribution (annual cost) = (240 /1000 x 0.0626) x 3 x $75 x 52 = $175.78

It is essential for businesses to review and amend their service requirements to avoid unnecessary costs associated with the Waste Levy. For assistance, please contact our Waste Collections team on 07 5582 9399 or email levyready@goldcoast.qld.gov.au.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • What is the Queensland State Government Waste Disposal Levy?

    The Queensland State Government will be introducing a $75 per tonne Waste Disposal Levy (Waste Levy) on all waste disposed at landfills.

    The purpose of the Waste Levy is to minimise waste being sent to landfills and divert recoverable items for reuse, repurposing and recycling.

  • Who is responsible for the $75 per tonne Waste Levy?

    The Queensland State Government has placed the responsibility, the associated costs of implementing, and the ongoing operation of the Waste Levy on landfill operators and local councils.

    The Queensland State Government is developing a new waste management and resource recovery strategy to increase recycling and recovery and create new jobs.

    The strategy will be underpinned by the Waste Levy which will start on 1 July 2019.

    On 14 February 2019, Queensland Parliament passed amendments to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 to introduce the Waste Levy. 

  • When does the Waste Levy begin?

    The Waste Levy will start from 1 July 2019. 

  • Who does the Waste Levy apply to?

    The Waste Levy will apply to all businesses, organisations and commercial operators who generate waste and dispose of waste in Queensland (either directly or through service providers).

    This cost will be passed to commercial customers who dispose of waste at City landfills and Waste Recycling Centres. The waste management charge will increase for commercial customers who use these facilities and/or waste collection services. 

  • I’m a commercial operator. Will the Waste Levy apply if I am disposing waste at one of the City’s waste and recycling centres?

    Yes. The Waste Levy will be passed on to commercial customers who dispose of waste at City landfills and waste and recycling centres.

    You are encouraged to source separate recyclable materials to reduce the impact of the Waste Levy on your business before visiting our facilities. 

  • As a commercial operator, if my bins are only half full, will I only pay the levy on the actual waste in my bins?

    No. The City of Gold Coast (as service provider) recovers the cost of the Waste Levy from commercial customers by using an average weight per service (based on bin volume and average density). The waste levy cost is not calculated based on how full or empty your bins are, which is why it is important to ensure you are not being over-serviced.

  • How will I know how much I have been charged?

    As a commercial customer, if you are visiting a waste and recycling centre, the total levy charged will be calculated by the weight of waste you are delivering (as registered via the weighbridge). Commercial customers using the weighbridge at a waste and recycling centre or landfill will be notified of their Waste Levy charge as a line item on their docket or account.

  • I’m a commercial operator utilising the City’s waste collections service. How will I know how much I’ve been charged?

    The waste to landfill levy contribution made by commercial entities is calculated by the City as the average weight determined for your bin type and size x weekly collection frequency x levy.

    You will notice this as a two-part waste management tariff in the ‘Council Rates and Charges’ section of the rates notice. Bin sizes for your business and the number of collections per week will impact on levy costs.

    All commercial customers are encouraged to review service needs to ensure you are not being over-serviced. 

  • I am a charity/not-for-profit organisation (NFP) with a Waste Collection Service provided by the City. Will the Waste Levy still apply?

    The waste levy costs will be covered under the Waste Disposal Fee Concession Policy for NFPs at the applicable concession rate (100 per cent or 50 per cent).

  • I am a charity/not-for-profit organisation (NFP) which transports waste directly to a City Landfill or Waste and Recycling Centre. Will the Waste Levy still apply?

    The Queensland State Government has an exemption in place for eligible not-for-profit organisations and has employed the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) to engage directly with these organisations. For more information visit the NACRO website.

    Additionally, the City has determined that it will continue to cover the levy costs for those NFPs who are not eligible for a levy exemption, but do qualify for a concession under the Waste Disposal Fee Concession Policy.

  • Will residential customers be impacted?

    The Queensland Government has committed to ensuring that the introduction of the Waste Levy will have no direct impact on households. To mitigate the impact of the new Waste Levy on residential households, the Queensland State Government has paid the City of Gold Coast $20.7m for the 2019-20 financial year. This payment has been provided to cover waste disposal levy costs we incur when disposing of residential waste at landfills. For residential ratepayers this means the State Government Waste Disposal Levy will be shown as a nil amount on your rates notice.

    The commitment made by the Queensland Government also extends to households with commercial waste collection arrangements, serviced by the City of Gold Coast or private operators. These households may fall into one of the following eligible residential property categories:

    • nursing homes, retirement villages and private aged care
    • multi-unit dwellings (e.g. apartments, townhouses, gated communities)
    • residential, lifestyle or manufactured home parks
    • boarding houses
    • purpose-built student accommodations - off campus, rooming accommodations.

    The Department of Environment and Science is currently working with councils and a program administrator for the delivery of a payment to offset the cost of the levy for residents with commercial waste collection services.

    Further details of the program will become available in due course on the Queensland Government’s website at www.qld.gov.au/waste-disposal-levy.

  • Will the Waste Levy cover all of Queensland?

    The Waste Levy zone includes 39 out of 77 local government areas.

    This covers around 90 per cent of Queensland’s population and is where the majority of waste is generated and disposed. 

  • Will the price of the Waste Levy increase from $75 per tonne?

    The Waste Levy for all classifications will increase by $5 a year (on 1 July each year).

    For more information on regulated waste categories, view the Environmental Protection Regulation 2019.

    Waste Levy rates for the 2019-20 financial year are:

    Waste classification Levy rate (per tonne)
    General waste: municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial; construction and demolition $75
    Regulated waste: Category 1 $155
    Regulated waste: Category 2 $105
  • What support is available to help me reduce my waste, and lessen the impact of the Waste Levy?

    The Queensland State Government is funding ecoBiz, a free program which helps businesses reduce their energy, water and waste costs, and prepare for the introduction of the Waste Levy.

    Interested businesses can visit the ecoBiz website.

    We are committed to supporting businesses to become “Waste Levy Ready” and minimise waste. You may be eligible for:

    • A commercial food waste recycling service.
    • A recycling bin and recycle as much as possible.
    • Amending your service requirements – reduce your financial impact by ensuring you are not being over-serviced.

    For more information on waste minimisation and the programs available to residents and businesses, visit our Recycling and reducing waste page.

    Require assistance for a waste collections service not currently offered by the City? Our website has a recycling business directory to help you find local waste recycling facilities and businesses that can accept or collect your unwanted items for recycling. Visit our Recycling and reducing waste page.

  • Will there be more information provided to assist with being ‘Waste Levy Ready?'

    Yes, supporting our customers will continue to be a priority, and for the most up-to-date information and additional frequently asked questions, you are encouraged to visit our Recycling and reducing waste page.

  • Where can I find more information about the State Government’s Waste Disposal Levy?

    Refer to the Queensland State Government’s website for up-to-date and relevant information regarding the Waste Levy.

     

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