Some residents seem happy to pay more—are you?
  • Thursday 24 November 2011

Sunshine Coast Council has extended the deadline for residents to have their say about the future of waste management to midnight, 25 November 2011.

Council is urging residents who haven’t had their say to go to the on-line forum and answer questions about how their waste should be managed from 2014; how much it should cost, what they’re prepared to do at home and whether the process matters.

State legislation requires council to divert 65% of household waste from landfill by 2020 and council has its own aspirational target of 70% by 2014—the Coast’s current diversion figures are sitting at 33%.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Keryn Jones said that these are achievable targets but not if council is tied to using the traditional method of landfill.

"During the development of the waste minimisation strategy, we spent a significant portion of time looking for better alternatives to landfill," Cr Jones said.

"There are a number of options on the table, each with its pros and cons and now we’re at the stage where we need community input to move forward.

"Once we decide on the type of facility, we can go out to the waste industry to find the best and most effective facility available."

Waste futures project manager Joel Harris said the new waste facility would be located at sustainability park, Caloundra South in time for July 2014 when the Coast’s new waste strategy will be in place.

"The new facility will manage waste differently, pulling as much recyclable material out of the rubbish bin as possible," Mr Harris said.

"It’s important to get the ball rolling, because the type of facility we choose will define what our new 2014 waste collection contract will look like.

"There are a number of options on the table at the moment; at this stage nothing has been ruled out but to move forward, we really need the community to let us know what they think."

Potential options include:

  • a composting facility, which would see all householders using a third bin to collect garden and or food waste
  • a thermal plant, which would use waste to create energy to put back into the grid
  • a sorting facility that removes organic waste from the rubbish at the facility so residents would keep their two bins.

"Depending on the option chosen, residents will need to pay an extra $3 to $4 a week for their waste service," said Mr Harris

"In the forums, there are a handful of people saying they don’t mind paying extra—but it’s important to get a whole of Coast view.

"It’s also not just about cost, people may have very strong views about the type of facility we use and it’s important they know what’s involved with each facility."

Residents can review the options online, and then choose whether they want to answer a quick poll, answer questions about cost, the process and the environment, post feedback or take the full survey. The deadline for submission is 25 November 2011.

Further information about the strategic direction for waste management across the Sunshine Coast and Queensland:-

View Sunshine Coast Council's Waste Minimisation Strategy 2009 - 2014

View Queensland’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Strategy 2010 – 2020