A big day for WARR in Tasmania

4 February 2021

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has welcomed today’s flurry of positive announcements from Tasmanian Minister of Environment, Roger Jaensch, saying these initiatives will put necessary levers in place to drive resource recovery and jobs in the state.

Kicking off with the Container Refund Scheme (CRS), the Minister unveiled the government’s preferred model – a split responsibility scheme – that will enable all interested parties to take a role in this important scheme and play to their respective strengths, with contracts for the scheme coordinator and network operator being awarded through an open tender process.

“WMRR congratulates the Minister for understanding that a best practice CRS is one that includes multiple important players with distinct responsibilities to drive the success of the system, the proof of success being in its ease of access, effective community engagement, and clear ability to boost recycling,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“A split responsibility scheme is effective in managing the inherent conflict of interest associated with higher container return rates leading to increased refunds back to the community. We look forward to Tasmania’s tender process, which will no doubt match the right players to the right roles, aligned to the objectives of the government and community, and doing so in an open and transparent way.”

The Minister also announced the release of the draft Waste and Resource Recovery Bill for public consultation, which will finally introduce a state-wide waste levy in Tasmania. It is proposed that the levy is introduced on 1 November 2021, starting at $20 per tonne and increasing to $60 after four (4) years.

“WMRR applauds the government for recognising the importance of introducing a levy as a price signal on the value of materials. The levy plays an essential part in our sector as an economic tool within an integrated suite of policies, to both incentivise resource recovery and recognise the true long-term cost of managing material disposal,” Ms Sloan said.

“While we appreciate the need to prepare for such a change, the Tasmanian government’s proposed rate of $20 per tonne will not shift the dial to investment in resource recovery and Tasmanian jobs; it is simply too low to maximise, much less drive, resource recovery and landfill diversion. WMRR looks forward to continued engagement with the Minister on the levy rate and more ahead of the November roll-out.

“Ultimately, it is a really positive day for the WARR sector, community, and environment in Tasmania, with these announcements setting the state on a path of continued growth in capacity, which will no doubt lead to environmental and economic gains, including increased investment and job creation, and we congratulate the government for driving these important initiatives in Tasmania.” Ms Sloan said.