2016 Recycling and Waste in Queensland report released

The Queensland Government has released its 2016 Recycling and Waste in Queensland report, with the findings revealing more than four million tonnes of waste diverted from landfill in 2015-16.

The findings revealed headline wastes increased by 8.6 per cent from 2014-15, bringing the total waste reported to 9.2 million tonnes.

At the same time, Queensland’s population grew by 1.3 per cent, with its economy growing by 3.2 per cent during the same period.

The overall recovery rate improved by almost 1 per cent from 43.5 per cent in 2014-15 to 44.1 per cent in 2015-16.

Recovery rates for the headline waste streams included 33 per cent for municipal solid waste, 47 per cent for commercial and industrial waste and 50 per cent for construction and demolition waste.

Private facilities, such as landfills, monofills and incinerators disposed of 54 per cent of headline wastes sent for disposal, up four per cent on the previous year.

Private landfills disposed of 13 per cent of the state’s municipal solid waste, 53 per cent of commercial and industrial waste and 93 per cent of construction and demolition waste.

Meanwhile local governments saw a 3 per cent increase per capita in 2014-15 on mixed domestic waste picked up by their weekly council kerbside collection service, bringing it to a total of 1.3 million tonnes. This was however an 8 per cent decrease per capita since 2009–10.

The 333,000 tonnes of paper and packaging materials sent to recyclers by local governments is a 7 per cent increase from the 311,000 tonnes sent in 2014–15.

Almost all of of the 760,000 tonnes of segregated green waste reported was recovered, with approximately 75 per cent classified as municipal solid waste.

Approximately 30,400 tonnes of tyres (55 per cent of the 55,600 tonnes reported) were recovered.

The findings also showed about 81 per cent of the materials diverted from disposal in 2015–16 were recovered in Queensland.

Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Steven Miles said advances in technology would play an important role in improving resource recovery and recycling rates.

“The 2016 Recycling and Waste in Queensland report shows that Queenslanders increased their recycling effort for headline wastes by more than 370,000 tonnes, resulting in over 4 million tonnes of materials being diverted away from landfill,” wrote the Minister in the report.

“While these efforts highlight the progress being made to reduce waste and increase recycling, there is more that needs to be done.

“That is why the Queensland Government is undertaking a review of the current waste strategy and is working to deliver a number of key waste-reduction initiatives including the introduction of a plastic bag ban and a Container Refund Scheme in 2018 which will help improve recycling rates and reduce the impact of plastic litter on our environment, our wildlife and our communities.”

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