Industry News, Waste

Interstate trucks dumping rubbish would stretch from Brisbane to Mackay

If you lined up all the trucks coming into Queensland to dump rubbish last year, they would stretch from Brisbane to past Mackay.

A report has revealed the amount of rubbish trucked into Queensland from interstate increased by 37 per cent in 2017-18, reaching 1.2 million tonnes.

Most of the increase was driven by construction and demolition waste.

In June 2018, Queensland government has announced a $75 per tonne waste levy to stem the tide of New South Wales trucks coming across the border to dump rubbish in Queensland landfills.

The Recycling and Waste in Queensland 2018 report also revealed the state’s home-grown waste generation almost reached 11 tonnes for the first time.

That was an increase of 1.1 million tonnes compared with the previous year, representing an 11 per cent increase.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said that figure was concerning considering Queensland’s population only grew by 1.6 per cent at the same time.

Ms Enoch said the report demonstrated the urgency needed to improve Queensland’s waste management.

However, Ms Enoch blamed the current rubbish problem on the former LNP Newman government’s actions seven years ago, before the Palaszczuk government took office in 2015.

“These figures are further proof that the impacts are still being felt from the LNP’s reckless decision to scrap the waste levy in Queensland in 2012,” she said.

Queensland is the only mainland state without a waste levy, after it was scrapped under the LNP in 2012, when it was $35 a tonne.

More than 1.2 million tonnes of waste was trucked across the border into Queensland in 2017-18.

More than 1.2 million tonnes of waste was trucked across the border into Queensland in 2017-18. Credit:Mark Solomons

LNP Environment spokesman David Crisafulli said the Labor government was losing the war on interstate waste dumping.

“Whatever the excuse, under Labor interstate waste increased by 37 per cent in the last year,” he said.

“That’s after almost half-a-decade in power.”

Ms Enoch said the Labor government was moving ahead with its waste management strategy, which included the waste levy.

“This will stop the trucks and create incentives to divert waste away from landfill while encouraging more recycling and resource recovery initiatives,” she said.

Ms Enoch said the government wanted to increase investment in recycling and resource recovery industries.

“Because not only is diverting waste away from landfill better for our environment, it also provides more job opportunities,” she said.

“It is estimated that for every 10,000 tonnes of waste disposed in landfill, about three jobs were supported.

“But if that waste was recycled, this would support about nine jobs.”

In 2017-18, Queensland households and businesses increased their recycling efforts by 580,000 tonnes, resulting in almost 5 million tonnes of materials being diverted from landfill.

However, Queenslanders only recycle about 45 per cent of the waste generated.

Ms Enoch said that figure needed to improve.

“That is why last year we introduced a ban on single-use lightweight plastic bags, along with a container refund scheme, Containers for Change,” she said.

It cost councils $18.4 million to deal with 6000 tonnes of illegally-disposed waste last year.

 

 


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