Queensland needs a new approach to waste management

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is calling on councils and the State Government to start looking at sustainable solutions for Queensland’s waste problems.

LGAQ President, Councillor Paul Bell, said increasing costs and a reduction of landfill sites means that a viable waste strategy needs to be developed soon.

“Not only do we have more people generating more waste, we are consuming more goods than we ever have before,” he said. “As a result, councils are facing unprecedented levels of industrial and e-waste, and in some places are running out of space for landfill.

“Bigger and bigger slices of council budgets are going to landfill management. In fact, waste now ranks in the top four costs for councils – that’s unsustainable.”

Councillor Bell believes the current outdated strategy needs to be replaced with something that encompasses modern technology and developments.

“The Queensland Government’s current waste strategy was released in 1996, before modern items such as plasma televisions, nickel cadmium batteries, mobile phones and other e-waste entered the waste stream,” he said.

“A new approach is needed to give councils the means to enforce waste management standards and develop infrastructure and new technologies in the waste sector.”

Despite a good effort by homeowners, the current rate of recycling in Queensland is at a near national low of 33 per cent, while the rates in most other States are near 50 per cent.