Symposium charts new directions in waste management
  • Friday 26 September 2008

The Sunshine Coast Council today hosted a symposium aimed at identifying new ways forward in waste management.

Division Three Councillor Keryn Jones, who holds Council’s environment portfolio, said the New Directions in Waste Management Symposium was of major significance to the region’s future.

“We brought together the right people, agencies and community groups to investigate the best options in terms of avoiding, reducing and recycling our waste,’’ Cr Jones said.

Guests included the Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, Andrew McNamara, as well as representatives from alternative waste technologies, the Environment Protection Agency, councillors and council’s own waste management experts.

“There was a very strong focus on how to turn the environmental negative of landfilling our wastes into the sustainable positives of recovering our resources,’’ Cr Jones said.

“Today’s forum heard how waste contributes to 7% of our greenhouse gas emissions. We must look at capturing food and garden wastes and returning them to our soil as compost and we must significantly increase our commitment to recycling and re-using what we previously sent to landfill.”

Cr Jones said the forum’s ideas would be collated into a report for Council to consider in terms of what actions should be taken.

“I’ll be suggesting that Council develops a regional waste strategy – that’s one of the few areas where we may get some benefits from amalgamation through economies of scale and threshold volumes of recovered resources.”

Councillor Jones said the strategy would also address issues such as Council’s proposed Ferntree Landfill at Kulangoor and consider other, more sustainable options.

“All the ducks are lining up – the Federal Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme, the State’s Landfill Levy, the soon-to-be released Queensland Waste Management Strategy which will see waste treated as a resource, and the Sunshine Coast’s need for a new disposal option.

“Today was a significant step towards Council’s vision of becoming Australia’s most sustainable region. How we address our waste and resource management is one of the main factors in making that vision a reality.”