Strategy to reduce waste to landfill by 70%
  • Tuesday 08 December 2009

A waste minimisation strategy that aims to reduce the region’s waste to landfill by 70 percent was considered by Sunshine Coast Council at today’s general meeting.

The strategy, which will go to Thursday’s ordinary meeting for final sign-off, will provide a road map to guide council in reducing the need for landfill, educating the community, creating jobs and fulfilling its vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region.

Chair of the waste management taskforce Cr Keryn Jones said council must take action if it is to reduce the region’s need for landfill.

“We’re in a position where doing nothing is simply not an option,” Cr Jones said.

Our current disposal method of landfill is not a sustainable option and with space running out we need to find an alternative long term solution.

“Waste diversion and recycling has the potential to bring jobs and money to the Coast and the strategy recognises the economic potential of the waste to resource markets.

“Organics can be re-used and re-sold—that’s one market, recycling, whether it is furniture or tin cans, is another. Then there’s a market for methane capture, the list goes on.

“At the end of the day, waste really is the wrong word. Much of what goes into our landfills is actually a resource.

“Education is therefore another big part of the strategy. We want to give residents and commercial users the tools and information to implement their own minimisation strategies and to know what is waste and what is a resource.

“Under the polluter pays principle, we’ll also look to rewarding those that do the right thing. It will be very much a carrot approach.

“We need to move to a place where everyone takes responsibility for their own waste minimisation.

“If we can get people to recycle their organics at home and minimise their waste to landfill it will keep costs down and the environmental outcomes would be great.

“We know that there has to be a price put on carbon in the future and that this will apply to our landfills.

“But why pour money down the drain on taxes when by creating better systems, we can reduce the need for landfill, create an informed community, bring jobs to the Coast and be more sustainable.”

Cr Jones said that the Strategy was not a definitive guide but did provide long term goals for waste disposal and reuse.

“The strategy gives us the freedom to work with the community and industry, adapt to regional changes such as population growth and habits and to investigate new technologies as they become available,” Cr Jones said.

“We’ll be looking at our own backyard too as the strategy requires council to be a corporate leader in waste reduction and sustainability.”