SEOUL, June 8 (Korea Bizwire) – The Ministry of Environment said Wednesday that the upcoming revision to the Resource Circulation Act will include imposing a 10 to 30 won ($0.01 – 0.03) levy per kilogram of landfill (and incineration) for household waste.
Affecting all local governments and private businesses that operate waste disposal facilities, the revision will take effect on January 1, 2018, and the new tax revenue will be used for the government’s environmental projects, including improving the condition of smaller waste recycling facilities and promoting the production, distribution and utilization of recycled goods.
Facilities that recycle landfilled waste within three years from burial will receive 50 percent exemption on the levy, while those recycling within a year will not be taxed. Small businesses with less than 1 billion won ($887,547) in revenue are also exempt from the levy, as well as waste that is difficult to reuse, such as toxic waste and debris from disasters.
Businesses can also receive rebates for using energy from waste incineration of up to 75 percent, officials added.
The ministry believes the new levy will not excessively burden waste disposal facilities, taking into consideration landfill tax rates imposed by EU countries (10 to 100 won per kg) and Japan (10 won per kg), although it will be gathering feedback from industry experts and civic organizations during the preliminary legislation period (40 days starting Thursday).
“The revision will reduce landfill waste by roughly a third of the current amount, subsequently reducing social and environmental costs, and promote the recycling of waste resources,” said a ministry official.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)