NEW DELHI: Brace up for landfill taxes and high tipping fees, especially for bulk waste generators, as the Centre’s draft National Resource Efficiency Policy (NREP), 2019 calls for imposing monetary fines to encourage the optimal use of waste material and better waste management. The policy emphasised upon moving towards zero landfill and calls for dis-incentivising landfilling. It also cites global practice of landfill tax.
Landfill taxes are successful in mitigating environmental impacts related to waste disposal, such as contamination of groundwater or soil, methane emissions from decaying organic waste and odour among others, the policy contends. “Thus, landfill tax provides incentives for alternative and more sustainable ways of waste disposal. Several countries have landfill ban that indicates how much of a certain type of waste may be landfilled. Revenue from landfill tax may be used for waste management, cleaning up of contaminated sites or other environmental measures.”
The NREP seeks to create a facilitative and regulatory environment to mainstream resource efficiency across all sectors by fostering cross-sectoral collaborations, development of policy instruments, action plans and efficient implementation and monitoring frameworks. Besides, penalty and tipping, the policy recommends ban on disposal of recyclable waste like plastics, metals, glass, paper, cardboard and biodegradable waste to landfills by 2025.
It also calls for municipalities in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities to start inventorising Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste data by 2022 and to achieve recycling rate for C&D waste to reach 50 per cent by 2025 and 75 per cent by 2030. By 2025, 30 per cent of total public procurement of materials for civil construction should be from recycled materials.
UK model of taxation discussed
The policy brings up the UK model where authorities increased tax rates that lead to the closure of a large number of landfill sites — 1,200 such sites in 2001 came down to 450 in 2008/09.