Recycling programs save

Article image - Recycling programs save Cr Rebecca Vonhoff (left) and Cr Nancy Sommerfield welcome an expansion of recycling services.

Advances at the award-winning Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility, Queensland, have given residents and businesses more opportunities to recycle household electrical and electronic items, plus bulky polystyrene packaging.

Almost 140 tonnes of e-waste (electronic items) has been diverted from the region’s landfills since June 2019.

In addition, from June this year Council is able to recycle polystyrene packaging material delivered to the facility.

Toowoomba Regional Council Councillor, Rebecca Vonhoff, welcomed residents’ willingness to recycle precious resources.

“Our expanded services deliver environmental savings, relieve some operational business costs and will help Council reach the state government’s waste reduction targets.

“Council’s Toowoomba Region Waste Management Strategy outlines our plans to reduce the volume of waste disposed at landfills and increase the volume of resources that can be recovered and reused.”

Council has achieved a 70 percent diversion rate of material from landfill following the opening of the Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility in December 2015.

“There are large costs and strict legislative requirements involved in managing landfill operations.

“By diverting recyclable materials from landfills, we can extend the life of our landfill cells and ensure we are not depositing a range of metals and other substances that otherwise have a more valuable future use.”

Councillor, Nancy Sommerfield, said Council recently bought a machine that used heat and pressure to compress expanded polystyrene into ‘bricks’ that would be sold for use in flooring, cladding and other applications.

“Recycling polystyrene will save significant space in our landfill, help to reduce windblown waste and also provide an ongoing revenue stream.

“This is a new product stream for Council and we are among a select group of regional councils using this technology.

“Recycling e-waste also stops a lot of hazardous materials, ranging from heavy metals such as lead and mercury, to ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and flame retardants, from damaging the environment.”

In a further display of the reduce, reuse and recycle mantra, Council recently recycled piles of crushed concrete that had been left at the facility. The material was used to renew a hardstand pad for housing bulk materials at the site.