In March 2012, the Ministry for the Environment commissioned Covec Ltd to examine some of the economic factors that influence waste disposal and waste minimisation.
The study looks at:
- the extent of market failure in waste management and whether current landfill charges cover the full costs to society of landfill disposal
- issues surrounding waste disposal pricing in New Zealand and the extent to which it is providing efficient incentives for waste minimisation
- the overall costs and benefits of waste minimisation and the contribution of the waste disposal levy towards increasing net benefits.
The study is not comprehensive and identifies data difficulties, for example, a lack of data on private landfills and private recycling activity. It notes insufficient information to enable an analysis of the response to landfill price in New Zealand.