A report released by the Queensland Government shows an increase in the amount of waste from interstate sources in the last financial year, while Queensland’s reported waste generation also exceeded 10 million tonnes for the first time.
The Recycling and Waste in Queensland 2018 was released this week at the National Waste Recycling Industry Council quarterly meeting.
The Recycling and Waste in Queensland report is prepared annually based on data supplied by local governments, the waste and resource recovery industry and recyclers across the state.
The report shows that in 2017-18, 10.9 million tonnes of headline waste was reported with a 45 per cent recovery rate. Of this, 82 per cent of materials were recovered in Queensland. In addition, the report shows a 37 per cent increase in waste from interstate sources.
The overall recovery rate increased slightly from the previous financial year by 0.9 per cent.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the report demonstrated the urgency needed to improve Queensland’s waste management.
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“This report provides a snapshot of how waste and recyclables were managed, recovered and disposed of in 2017–18 financial year,” Ms Enoch said.
“Alarmingly, more than 1.2 million tonnes of waste was trucked over the border into Queensland in 2017-18.
“If you lined up all of these trucks, the line would stretch from Brisbane to past Mackay.”
“The Palaszczuk Government is moving ahead with its comprehensive waste management strategy, which is underpinned by a waste levy that is proposed to begin on July 1 this year. This will stop the trucks and create incentives to divert waste away from landfill while encouraging more recycling and resource recovery initiatives.”
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 per cent increase, which is concerning when you consider our population only grew by 1.6 per cent in the same time period,” she said.
Ms Enoch said it was promising to see recycling rates increase, but there was still room for improvement.
“In 2017-18, Queenslanders increased their recycling effort for household and business wastes by 580,000 tonnes, resulting in close to five million tonnes of materials being diverted from landfill.
“However, we still recycle only 45 per of the waste we generate, which needs to change.”
Rick Ralph, Chief Executive Officer, Waste Recycling Industry Association said that the waste and recycling industry in Queensland is looking forward with confidence.
“With government reforms to policy and regulation, industry can invest which will create new jobs by increasing the states resource recovery performance,” Mr Ralph said.
You can read the full report here.