Queensland recycling report calls for urgent action

Waste generation has topped 10 million tonnes in Queensland for the first time, with a new report calling for urgent action on the ailing system.

State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said that the Recycling and Waste in Queensland 2018 report demonstrated a clear case for urgent action to improve the State’s waste management system.

“This report provides a snapshot of how waste and recyclables were managed, recovered and disposed of in 2017–18 financial year,” Ms Enoch said.

The report also detailed a 37% increase in the amount of waste being transported into Queensland for disposal.

Ms Enoch said the Recycling and Waste in Queensland 2018 report also showed Queensland generated nearly 11 million tonnes of waste in 2017-18, which was an increase of 1.1 million tonnes compared to the previous year.

“This represented an 11% increase, which is concerning when you consider our population only grew by 1.6% in the same time period."

Despite the overall increase in landfill usage, the report also detailed a state-wide improvement in recycling rates.

“In 2017-18, Queenslanders increased their recycling effort for household and business wastes by 580,000 tonnes, resulting in close to 5 million tonnes of materials being diverted from landfill.

“However, we still recycle only 45% of the waste we generate, which needs to change."

Key findings for local government include:

• Weekly red bin lid kerbside services collected 1.24 million tonnes of domestic waste from 1,893,000 households—a 3% decrease per capita from 2016–17 and an 11% decrease per capita since 2009–10.

• Yellow bin lid services collected 347,000 tonnes of paper and packaging—a 0.2% decrease per capita from 2016–17 and a 2.6% increase per capita since 2009–10.

• Green bin lid services collected 61,000 tonnes of garden and food organic wastes—a 15% increase per capita from 2016–17 and a 92% increase per capita since 2012–13.

• Nine councils provided 220,000 Queensland households with a regular green waste (green bin lid) kerbside collection service—an increase of 29,000 households from 2016–17.

• Thirty-two councils provided a regular (yellow bin lid) kerbside collection service for paper and packaging materials to 1,722,000 households—a 3.8% increase from 2016–17.

• Local government diverted 2,842,000 tonnes of waste from disposal, including 1,510,000 tonnes of headline wastes (such as paper and packaging, and green waste) and 1,332,000 tonnes of other wastes (such as biosolids, batteries and clean earthen material).

• 15,100 tonnes of waste were diverted from landfill through the operation of ‘tip shops’.

• 6,000 tonnes of litter and illegally dumped waste were cleaned up at a cost of $18.4 million.

The full report can be found here

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