‘Eco worm tax’ a winning plan for UC student

A plan to introduce a unique eco-tax on waste has won a University of Canterbury (UC) Business student a virtual place at an international conference.

UC Masters in Business Management student Yutika Rangari created a poster explaining her plan to levy the industrial and residential sector $40 per tonne of solid waste and entered the TaxCOOP2020 Go Green contest.

She is one of five finalists to be chosen from entries around the world.

The jury described Yutika’s proposal as innovative and realistic. She won a CA$1000 cash prize and her poster will be shared during the TaxCOOP2020 World Tax Summit in Montreal, Canada.

Rangari has also been invited to take part in a series of brainstorming sessions on the subject at the summit, which is being held virtually this year, from October 13 to 15.

Yutika, who has a Masters in Biotechnology Research from India, wanted to use her science background and her Business Management knowledge to come up with a taxation-based solution to New Zealand’s waste problem.

“Among all OECD countries, New Zealand has the highest amount of landfill and the lowest recycling of solid waste, according to Ministry for the Environment figures.

“About 60 per cent of New Zealand’s landfill waste could be recycled, including 39 per cent organic matter and 19 per cent paper.”

Revenue raised from the eco-tax would be used for waste minimisation activities around the country, such as organic compost plants, she says.

Her plan is to convert the excess solid waste into beneficial vermicompost (worm compost) through vermiculture so she has called the concept a “Vermi-Greeno Tax”.

She is thrilled to have won the contest with the idea.

“I’m really, really proud that I did it. It’s all worth it and I’m so proud to be involved in the conference on behalf of UC. I think it will be extremely intellectual and a learning experience.”

Yutika arrived in New Zealand in January and began studying at UC in February.

She says the style of teaching is different to what she experienced in India. “It’s very interactive at UC, we get to participate a lot.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Stephen Hickson, Director Business Taught Masters, for his guidance and motivation.”