GATE fees at Melton Council's recycling centre have increased only in part because of the carbon tax.
This comes after the council estimated the tax could cost it as much as $900,000 this financial year.
Council planning and development manager Luke Shannon said the $900,000 estimate related to the cost of power for street lighting and landfill levies as well as fees for the recycling centre. "In its first year, [the carbon tax] effects will be brief to begin with. Council, like many organisations, will need to spend the first year observing what the real impact will be because it's a new tax."
A council spokesman said higher tip fees reflected a range of increased operational costs, including the higher landfill levy.
On July 1, fees for each car or station wagon-load taken to the centre increased from $15 to $20. A tandem trailer with high sides now costs $80 (up from $60). Individual items such as mattresses will cost $25 to dispose of (up by $5).
Melton resident John Goodman said he feared the increases would contribute to illegal dumping in the shire.
"The higher the gate fee is increased, the worse it will get [for illegal dumping]," he said.
But the council maintained its fees remained well below the average fees of other western-suburb councils. Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) president Bill McArthur said under the carbon tax, council expenses could rise by only 0.8per cent, in line with the CPI.
"If all council cost increases were to be collected through rates, which is unlikely, it would result in a median 1.5per cent increase, or around $22 a year or 42 cents a week," he said.
Under the scheme, businesses and organisations emitting more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year will have to buy a $23 permit for every tonne released.
Price increases are set to flow through to households and businesses, but the government says extra support and compensation will ease the tax's introduction.