LGAQ Should Put Focus on Household Waste Reductions, Not Waste Levy

By Toby Hutcheon, Boomerang Alliance

In the three years since the waste levy was introduced in Queensland, waste levels have reduced in the business and construction sectors. There have not been comparable reductions from the municipal sector, a sector that is exempt from the levy, that receives an estimated $150M in advance payments from the levy.

‘The question must be asked; what have councils been doing for the last 3 years to reduce household wastes, as they have promised, and reduce any impact of a waste levy may have on households?’

‘Instead of whingeing about the levy, it would be better if they acted on better services that reduce household waste, and less waste to landfill means less greenhouse gas emissions.’

Toby Hutcheon from the Boomerang Alliance.

Of 232 councils in Australia with green waste collection services, only 8 councils in Queensland offer such a service-and only on an opt-in basis. This is despite green waste representing about 50 per cent of household wastes. The NSW Govt has just mandated green waste services for all councils.

In most council areas, every household pays the same service fees for waste, irrespective of how much they put in their bins. There is no incentive to reduce waste and those who do are effectively subsidising those who don’t. What happened to every council offering smaller bins to households or considering weight-based charging?

‘Councils actively changing services to help households reduce waste and encouraging resource reuse will promote new business and more jobs and contribute to the LGAQ stated goal of a zero-waste future.’

‘Time to act, not complain.’

NOTE: According to the latest QLD Waste and Recycling Report 2019-20, the average household discards 648 kgs of waste per year. A $75 per tonne levy does not mean a significant cost impact. Reducing household waste or smaller bins instead would mean paying even less. A small price most would be prepared to pay for a less wasteful, more resourceful, and cleaner Queensland.

Queensland Plastic Ban Tour 2021

From 1 September 2021, certain single-use plastic items will be banned in Queensland, including plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and expanded polystyrene cups and containers.

As many community groups provide takeaway food and drink as part of their community and fundraising activities, this may affect how you operate. As such, your group may benefit from information on how to comply with the new bans.

To help you prepare, the Queensland Government has contracted The Boomerang Alliance to conduct a series of evening forums across the state to answer your questions on:

  • What items are included in the ban?
  • What alternative products can be used?
  • How can my organisation adapt to comply with the ban?

Forums are held in the evening and consist of a 30-minute presentation followed by a Q&A session. It will include explanations on practices to avoid and reduce packaging, tailored for specific scenarios (e.g. at a sausage sizzle, sports events, holding your own event etc.)

For full details of locations and to register, head to the Eventbrite page.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This