Invercargill City Council will today receive their first payment of waste levy funding collected under the Waste Minimisation Act.

Money from the waste levy is being distributed to councils to support their work to reduce, reuse and recycle waste thereby reducing harm to the environment and ensuring resources are used more efficiently.

The Waste Minimisation Act discourages waste disposal by imposing a levy of $10 per tonne of waste on disposal facilities such as landfills. Half of the money collected is allocated to councils on a population basis to spend on minimising waste in their area and the remaining levy money, minus administration costs, is made available for waste projects and education through the Waste Minimisation Fund.

Invercargill City Council has received $38,013 as part of $3 million being distributed across 73 councils nationwide.

The Government encourages applications to the Waste Minimisation Fund from those in the community delivering waste minimisation education, people with new ideas to reduce waste and those wanting to expand the scope of existing waste reduction operations.

Information about the fund is available on the Ministry for the Environment website, with applications closing on 1 March 2010.

The waste levy funding will be made quarterly and councils will use the funding in accordance with their waste management and minimisation plans which are developed locally.

These plans are supported by the New Zealand Waste Strategy which is the Government’s long term vision for waste reduction. This long-term strategy is being updated to be in line with the National Government’s waste policy.

This policy is about discouraging waste being dumped in landfills through the waste levy and supporting councils and communities in their waste minimisation and recycling programmes