Time for action on waste strategy

Published: 5th April 2019

With submissions closing today on the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, the LGAQ has called on the State Government to urgently partner with Queensland councils to drive a zero-waste future by 2035.

The Association reiterated its support for a Queensland waste strategy that maintains an overall cost neutral position for the delivery of council municipal solid waste services and the need for all waste levy funds to go back to the sector to assist local government and the waste industry to achieve greater resource recovery and market development across Queensland.

Queensland councils, long responsible for the stewardship of waste management, are currently grappling with increasing pressure on local markets due to to China’s National Sword Policy.

As highlighted in the LGAQ submission, Queensland councils are looking to the State Government to drive a ‘circular waste economy’ by focusing on:

  • Responding to China’s “National Sword” policy, including financial support to assist councils to continue to offer kerbside recycling services.
  • Developing data and information sharing program recognising good reliable data is essential to inform planning, priorities and investment decisions.
  • Facilitating local and regional waste management plans supported by infrastructure plans to enable the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time.
  • Promoting education and communication strategies as a long-term investment to drive cultural change to help people take the right action to avoid, reuse, reduce, recycle and dispose of waste.
  • Developing legislative and regulatory settings consistent with the waste hierarchy to:
    • Drive investment certainty and market development;
    • Target specifications for use of recycled product and content;
    • Amend government procurement processes to promote use of recycled (local) content;
    • Commit to an Energy from Waste Policy to provide investment certainty and confidence to councils and industry;
    • Stronger packaging and product stewardship legislation; and
    • Tackle problem waste streams including organics, glass, tyres and solar panels.
    • Investing waste levy funds in resource recovery and recycling initiatives consistent with the waste hierarchy, focusing on:
    • Incentives to fast-track on-shore solutions for problem waste streams and local recyclate, education campaigns, infrastructure upgrades, research and local innovative product development, illegal dumping and legacy landfills.