Friday, July 19, 2024

New waste plan for Wide Bay councils

The Queensland Government has released a regional waste and resource recovery management plan for Wide Bay, which it says sets a new ambition for better regional collaboration.

Queensland Environment Minister, Leanne Linard says the participating Councils will take a cooperative approach to delivering better waste and resource recovery services for the Wide Bay, to be both more sustainable and create more local jobs.

“The Miles Government is committed to working with councils across Queensland to enhance their waste and resource recovery services as we move to a zero-waste society by 2050,” said the Minister.

“The Miles Government’s $300,000 investment to help deliver the Wide Bay region’s Waste and Resource Recovery Management Plan demonstrates our commitment to helping regional councils modernise their waste management facilities and practices.

“Resource recovery is essential in our drive for environmental sustainability, embodying the principles of a circular economy by reusing, recycling, and re-purposing materials and energy sources, thereby reducing waste generation and conserving valuable resources.

“This not only reduces the strain on our finite resources but also minimises the sometimes harmful environmental impacts associated with waste disposal,” she said.

The participating councils are Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council as well as the Bundaberg, Gympie, Fraser Coast, North Burnett and South Burnett councils.

The landmark blueprint sets the actions to be undertaken at a regional scale, as well as by the individual councils, to improve how the more than 460,000 tonnes of waste generated in the region each year is managed.

Taking coordinated action across the region is set to improve waste services for the more than 300,000 residents in the area, said Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing, Regional Development and Jobs and Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders.

The plan includes the investment needed in both resource recovery infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions, including greater education and promotion of behaviour change activities, for the Wide Bay.

“Under this plan, councils have committed to undertaking education efforts focusing on reducing the contamination of yellow-lid bins with food waste as well as other programs to promote the benefits to the community of getting recycling right,” said Mr Saunders.

“The plan also identifies opportunities to divert some of this material from landfill into organic processing though commercial scale composting, home composting or community facilities like, for example, community composting hubs.

“We know that around 50% of local landfill is food and garden organics that could instead be composted or used for productive purposes. 

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor, Jack Dempsey said his community takes pride in its natural environment and were determined to preserve it.

“The Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Management plan aligns with Bundaberg Regional Council’s ongoing commitment to creating a sustainable future for our community,” said Mayor Dempsey.

“Council’s current FOGO trial and introduction of free domestic green waste disposal exemplifies our dedication to resident-focused solutions that contribute to a cleaner, greener Bundaberg Region.

“Council recognises that resource recovery is not just an environmental imperative but is also a key driver of economic growth.

“By embracing innovation and creating jobs, Council aims to demonstrate that sustainable practices benefit both the environment and our local community.”

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor, George Seymour.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor, George Seymour said his council was committed to reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and was investing in a new Materials Recovery Facility to support improved resource recovery and recycling.

“The new regional plan will mean better coordination of investment and education to deliver the most cost-effective waste management solutions for our communities,” he said.

“We hope it will help provide a clearer pathway for regional communities like ours to secure funding for food organics and garden organics services. We look forward to working with the Queensland Government to achieve the goals and targets set in the plan.”

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