Queensland explores landfill bans
The Queensland Government is currently exploring landfill bans for problem and recyclable materials.
With the Sunshine State responsible for approximately 20% of Australia’s waste generation, landfill bans could provide a major business boost for recyclers.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) is the key government authority dealing with waste regulation in the State.
Previously, the EHP has been involved in a number of major projects, including the most recent release of Waste – Everyone’s responsibility Queensland Waste Avoidance and Resource Productivity Strategy (2014–2024).
Now, the EHP has offered insights into some of its upcoming regulatory priorities.
“The government has committed to investigating the introduction of a state-based Container Deposit Scheme (CDS),” a EHP spokerson said in April.
Meanwhile, the EHP is currently investigating the feasibility of introducing landfill disposal bans for certain materials – such as concrete, tyres, e-waste, and agricultural and veterinary chemical containers, as a way to drive improved recovery and reduce disposal.
For some end-of-life products, a disposal ban would also help to support the objectives of product stewardship arrangements that may be in place, such as for tyres and e-waste.
“This investigation is in its early days and more consultation and discussion is required before any decisions are made,” the spokesperson said.
This approach has been used in South Australia for some time – including bans in e-waste, white goods, whole cars and tyres.
EHP is also working on several product stewardship arrangements. For instance, the Queensland Government is leading a national project to develop a rechargeable battery stewardship program.
To help inform the design of the program, EHP has partnered with the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative to pilot the collection and recycling of power tool batteries through Masters, Bunnings and Trade Tools stores in the Brisbane metro area.
Finally, the EPH has also taken note of the climate change benefits offered by resource recovery.
“The waste and recycling sectors can play a role in reducing Queensland’s emissions,” a spokesperson said.
“Relevant programs under discussion include better management of landfill gas and establishment of infrastructure and markets to divert suitable green and organic waste from disposal to higher-order and more sustainable use, including use as second generation biofuels.”
By Alex Serpo (Director, Resource Recovery Biz)