Monday 13 November 2023
BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL ‘TOWARDS ZERO WASTE’ POLICY
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Brisbane City Council’s new ‘Towards Zero Waste’ strategy is a step in the right direction to boost resource recovery and reduce the amount of material going to landfill, according to the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR).
“The proposed measures announced by the Mayor of Brisbane City Council are welcome and show innovative thinking such as rebates for insinkerators and additional community recycling hubs for problematic materials, such as batteries,” WMRR Chief Executive Officer, Gayle Sloan said.
“This policy demonstrates the Queensland Government’s waste levy is working exactly as intended by encouraging the diversion of material from landfill. Councils have a key role to play in assisting their communities to avoid creating waste and carbon, and keeping money in their residents’ pockets - and who doesn’t need that in these challenging financial times?
“However, it is a pity politics appears to be getting in the way of what is good policy. The reality is the waste levy in Queensland needs to increase given Queensland is only recovering 45% of materials and by the State Government’s own admission, it is well off track - currently missing seven (7) of its nine (9) targets. The waste levy is an important economic tool that keeps valuable resources circulating and out of landfill, as well as avoiding emissions and reducing the reliance on virgin materials.
“The State Government was clear in 2021 that payments to councils would reduce given the need to drive co-investment in resource recovery and create Queensland jobs. We need to return to that spirit of co-operation and refocus on delivering new recycling and recovery industries, and swiftly establishing markets, as time is ticking.
“With elections coming up next year, we do not need Council and State Government taking pot shots at each other, rather we need the two levels of government working hand in glove with the WARR sector to capitalise on the opportunities that resource recovery presents.
“We cannot allow election cycles to delay important action - there is no time to waste.
“Business as usual is not working in Queensland, we need urgent action from all levels of government to address the fundamental issues facing the waste and resource recovery sector as we need resource recovery rates to improve significantly – not just so the State can go some way to hitting its targets, but because our planet demands it.
“Governments need to grasp that investing in resource recovery and working towards net zero is a win-win. It improves our environment and creates green jobs,” Ms Sloan said.