Recent figures show that the Bundaberg Region’s waste to landfill has reduced drastically over the past 12 months since the introduction of the State Government waste levy.
Council's waste and recycling services manager Gavin Crawford said waste to landfill statistics reflected the community’s willingness to adapt.
“Tonnes of waste to landfill has decreased by 15 percent, or 15 semi-trailer loads per week,” Gavin said.
“The total amount of waste and other materials handled via Council’s waste facilities was approximately 257,100 tonnes, of which 72,000 tonnes went to landfill.
“That’s a significant reduction on the previous year’s figures which came in at 85,000 tonnes of waste to landfill.
“The Material Recovery Facility recycled approximately 7800 tonnes of paper, cardboard, glass and plastic bottles, jars, and aluminium and steel cans.
“That’s a mammoth effort by local residents and actually equates to 82kg of recycled materials for every resident in the region over the last 12 months.
“To put it in visual terms, it’s enough to fill eight semi-trailers per week.”
The State Government waste levy was introduced across Queensland last year and is part of a new strategy to increase recycling and resource recovery and therefore reduce waste to landfill.
Gavin said the levy had completely changed how Council’s waste facilities operated.
“We have increased our focus on minimising any waste that needs to go to landfill and are fully supportive of a circular waste economy,” he said.
“We’ve made use of our wheeled material handler to ensure we’re picking up recyclable items such as steel, concrete, wooden pallets, trickle tape, plastics and items eligible for resale in the tip shop.
“The introduction of the State Government waste levy has also driven us to reorganise our facilities into specialised stockpile sites.
“This has reduced contamination and helped our operations.”
Gavin said Council’s Cedars Road waste facility also now allowed some commercial front-lift trucks and more waste collection trucks direct access.
“This has increased efficiencies by avoiding a 16km trip to University Drive and to some extent has helped our carbon footprint.”
Waste and recycling portfolio spokesperson Cr Tanya McLoughlin said statistics showed higher recycling rates in the commercial sector, which in turn helped reduce costs to ratepayers.
“The cost to Council, as operators of local waste facilities, is dependent on the amount of waste disposed of to landfill,” Cr McLoughlin said.
“The levy does not apply to recyclable materials which means the more people recycle, the more cost effective it is for Council to manage these facilities on behalf of the community.
“These statistics show that Council’s waste management strategies and practices are not only conducive to reducing waste but have also resulted in positive outcomes for ratepayers.”
Cr McLoughlin said Council was committed to reducing landfill waste and encouraged operators and ratepayers to continue recycling correctly.
“The introduction of the State Government waste levy means knowing what you can and can’t recycle, which is not only highly beneficial for our environment but will result in major cost savings at our recycling facility,” she said.
Find out what items can be recycled at https://www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/recycle-right