Waste taxes and charges
As stipulated in the Waste Tax Act 1126/2010, tax is levied on all waste deposited at landfill sites, provided that
- its utilisation is technically feasible and environmentally justifiable, and
- that by imposing the tax, waste can be made more commercially exploitable.
All waste specified in the tax schedule appended to the Waste Tax Act is subject to tax.
Waste categories with no technical treatment or utilisation alternative for disposal at landfills, or with utilisation options that would do more harm than good, are tax exempt. Such categories include mineral waste and waste from inorganic chemical processes. Another category exempt from the tax is hazardous waste deposited at landfills. Waste used in the very structure of landfills, in a manner that the permit or supervisory authority deems acceptable, is also tax exempt.
All landfills where waste falling into a taxable waste category is deposited are subject to the waste tax. This covers both public and provate landfills, as well as all waste disposal areas. In keeping with the previous Waste Tax Act, storage of waste lasting less than three years, waste composting or utilisation areas and dumping areas, are not subject to the waste tax.
As of the beginning of 2011, the waste tax is set at €40 per tonne of waste sent to a landfill; as of 2013, at €50.
Drinks packaging tax
Drinks packaging taxes are currently paid on packages for alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, bottled water and certain other drinks packages. This form of taxation aims to further encourage the reuse of drinks packages, to reduce the quantities of such materials ending up in landfill, and to prevent litter.
The taxation level currently amounts to 0.51 euros per litre. This tax does not apply to packages covered by approved returnable deposit systems that involve the collection of packages for refilling or material recycling.
Finland’s returnable deposit system is defined in special legislation on the taxation of the manufacture of certain types of drinks packaging (1037/2004), as well as statutes in the Waste Act and a related decree on collection systems for returnable drinks packages (180/2005).
Municipal waste charges as of 1 May 2012
Municipal waste charges cover the cost of municipal waste management. This includes costs incurred by waste transportation, as well as the establishment, maintenance, decommissioning and after-care of treatment facilities. Additionally, it includes the cost of register maintenance and the provision of waste guidance. All portions of the waste charge that fall outside the scope of waste management proper, resulting from the maintenance of registers and the provision of guidance, can be collected as a separate basic charge.
The waste charge must be in line with the service level provided by the municipality. Waste charges are imposed to encourage the public to reduce waste, make it less harmful and utilise it. In many municipalities, a smaller fee is charged for waste that is sorted and fit for use, as opposed to mixed municipal waste that is unfit for practical applications.
The waste charge is collected from the property holder or some other holder of the waste. Grounds for determining the waste charge can be found in the waste tariff approved by the municipality.
Oil waste charges
The prices of lubrication oils include oil waste charges of 5.75 euro cents per kilo. The income from these charges is used to cover the costs of managing oil wastes and cleaning up soil and groundwater contaminated with oil.
Senior Adviser Ari Seppänen, Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Protection Department, e-mail address as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org (letter ä is replaced with a)