Have your say on the future of waste management in Queensland

The Palaszczuk Government has today released a draft strategy that paves the way towards better waste management in Queensland.

Queenslanders are now able to have their say on the draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne 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.”

The strategy outlines targets for 2050, including having a rate of recycling of 75% for all waste types, with only 10% of waste going to landfill, and a 25% reduction in household waste.

Minister Enoch said these targets would also directly contribute to the Palaszczuk 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.

“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.

“Everyone can do their bit in recycling, and this draft strategy provides a plan for promoting more sustainable waste management practices by government, business and industry and the community.

“And, with implementation of the draft strategy being supported by a waste disposal levy, we can attract more investment recycling and resource recovery industries that will see waste diverted from landfill and help create more jobs.

“It is estimated that for every 10,000 tonnes of waste disposed in landfill, about three jobs are supported. But if that waste was recycled, this would support about nine jobs. And we need to embrace this.”

Pete Shmigel, CEO, Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) said that by moving towards a circular economy and creating market demand for recycled products, this 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, visit www.qld.gov.au/wastestrategy

Public consultation closes on April 5.

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