Waste charges and taxes

Municipal waste charges

Municipal waste charges cover the cost of municipal waste management. This includes costs incurred by waste transportation, the establishment, maintenance, decommissioning and after-care of treatment facilities and the costs of register maintenance and waste guidance. All portions of the waste charge that fall outside the scope of waste management proper, resulting from the maintenance of registers and guidance services, 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.

Waste tax

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 (1126/2010) is subject to tax.

Waste categories with no technical treatment or utilisation alternative to 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 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 private 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 2016, the waste tax is set at €70 per tonne of waste sent to a landfill.

Beverage packaging tax

Beverage packaging taxes are currently paid on packaging for alcoholic beverages, beer and soft drinks. Bottled water and certain other drinks packages are also subject to the tax. This form of taxation aims to further encourage the re-use 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 per litre. This tax does not apply to packaging covered by approved returnable deposit systems that involve the collection of packaging 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 packaging (180/2005).

Information on joining the deposit system is available from the link in the column on the left: Producer responsibility.

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 waste and cleaning up soil and groundwater contaminated with oil.

More information

Waste charges: Expert Jenni Lehtonen, The Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 066
Beverage packaging tax: Ministerial Adviser Tarja-Riitta Blauberg, The Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 059
Waste tax: Senior Officer for Legal Affairs Kati Vaajasaari, The Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 112

Published 2013-08-26 at 16:05, updated 2019-01-22 at 12:57