How City of Gold Coast is implementing its strategy to improve waste services to residents, while at the same time preparing for a spike in waste generation during the Commonwealth Games 2018.
City of Gold Coast (the City) is already a champion when it comes to delivering business as usual waste services. The second largest local government in Australia, Gold Coast is home to more than 540,000 residents, expected to grow by 130,000 people by 2024, and welcomes about 12 million visitors a year.
Moreover, the City won the 2015 WMAA Transfer Station Excellence Award for the Reedy Creek Waste and Recycling Centre, one of 12 waste facilities it operates.
As a result of the city’s growth and popularity, waste levels are increasing; in 2014–15, the City managed 556,000 tonnes of waste, about half of this was from households and just under a quarter was construction and demolition material.
Waste generation is set to escalate considerably, however, when the Commonwealth Games comes to Gold Coast in April 2018 (GC2018). Hundreds of thousands of visitors, and 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 nation and territories, are expected to congregate around 13 sports venues for the competitions and two celebration sites. Organisers expect 100,000 visitors alone at both the opening and closing ceremonies at the Carrara Stadium.
Manager Waste & Resources Management Matt Fraser leads the City’s waste management team. He says preparations are well underway to deal with the challenges such a major event brings.
“Research forecasts that waste generation will increase significantly during the Games, so the City is undertaking a considerable amount of planning and has started implementing some new initiatives to reduce waste generation in the near future and particularly for the event period,” he says.
The City and its partners have made considerable headway. They are analysing and mapping the impact of race routes and road closures for collections, determining locations for placing bins along race routes, as well as establishing contingencies to ensure waste operations can function efficiently in the event of increased traffic across the city.
Also included on its “to-do list” is investigating after-hours collections and security clearances, and working with the city’s top 200 waste-generating premises to maintain delivery of the best possible service.
The City has needed to consider additional resources and methods to manage the temporary spike in waste rates for GC2018. Nevertheless, Matt emphasises that much of this work falls under the city’s Solid Waste Strategy 2014-2024, which aims to improve waste and recycling provision for the community as business as usual.
“Aside from being a requirement of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act, producing the updated waste strategy was a key part of our preparations for the Games, and also aims to enhance existing waste management for what is already a large events city,” explains Matt.
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