The Queensland Government has released a draft waste management strategy for consultation, setting targets for 2050 and action points for stakeholders.
Targets for 2050 include having a rate of recycling of 75 per cent for all waste types, with only 10 per cent of waste going to landfill, and a 25 per cent reduction in household waste.
Queensland reported 10.9 million tonnes of waste in 2017-18, with 45 per cent of this recycled.
The Queensland Government plans to invest $100 million over the next three years for new and expanded waste management facilities.
In the report, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said this will be complemented by a suite of education and support programs. The government also has a commitment to devote more than 70 per cent of levy proceeds to resource recovery and other programs that reduce the impact of waste.
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Other measures already adopted include a $100 million Resource Recovery Industry Development Program and $5 million Waste to Bioenergy Fund.
Five strategic priorities are outlined including reducing waste, transitioning to a circular economy and building economic opportunities.
In building economic opportunities, the government has listed action points to develop the Advance Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Industries Roadmap. Further to this, developing proposals for landfill disposal bans and creating market development plans for key waste types and waste sectors.
Ms Enoch said the draft strategy presented a fundamental shift in the way waste is managed in Queensland.
“The latest figures show we are generating more waste than we are growing in population, and Queensland is still one of the worst performers in Australia when it comes to recycling,” Ms Enoch said.
“This comprehensive draft strategy supports the Palaszczuk Government’s long-term vision of becoming a zero-waste society, where waste is avoided and the waste we do produce is reused and recycled.”
She said these targets would also directly contribute to the Queensland Government’s targets of zero net emissions by 2050.
“The end goals from this strategy are simple. We need to reduce the amount of waste we create, cut greenhouse gas emissions and leave our environment in a better condition for our future generations,” she said.
“At the moment, the approach to waste is ‘take-make-use-dispose’, but this needs to change to a more circular model, where materials keep circulating within the economy at their highest value.”
Australian Council of Recycling CEO Pete Shmigel said that by moving towards a circular economy and creating market demand for recycled products, the waste industry can lead the next resources boom for Queensland, creating vital jobs and investment opportunities.
“The Queensland Government’s waste strategy is a great new bunch of carrots for better and more resource recovery,” Mr Shmigel said.
“Our industry welcomes the incentives for greater investment, and the emphasis on recycling’s economic and jobs benefits.
“We look forward to the strategy’s ‘doing’ including the right organisational structures and stakeholder partnerships.
“We’re not really recycling until we’re making and buying products from recyclate and that’s where we all need to go next.”
To view the strategy, click here.
Public consultation closes on April 5.