Waste and water management company SUEZ has welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision to introduce a waste levy as part of a comprehensive waste and recycling strategy in Queensland.
The new resource recovery, recycling and waste management strategy will be underpinned by a waste disposal levy that will incorporate measures to avoid costs for households. The new strategy will also be complemented by legislative reforms and other companion measures.
The key objectives of the strategy are to:
- Drive cultural change. All stakeholders recognise their role in meeting the vision of the waste strategy, and are informed and empowered to participate in achieving its goals and objectives.
- Avoidance and minimisation. Queensland will realise all opportunities (environmental, economic and social) from maximising sustainable consumption and production.
- Reuse, recovery and recycling. Queensland will optimise economic benefits from reuse, recovery and recycling.
- Management, treatment and disposal. Queensland will reduce the impact of waste on human health and the environment through improved waste practices.
Key features of the strategy include:
- targets for reducing waste generation and improving recycling rates
- recognition of the challenges and opportunities for regional areas of the state
- identification of Queensland’s priority wastes and areas for action, and
- implementation through action plans developed at government and sectoral level to achieve the objectives and priorities of the strategy.
The Government will reintroduce a levy on those who use the state as a ‘dumping ground’ for commercial waste, following the revelation that nearly one million tonnes of rubbish was trucked across the state border in the last financial year.
Chief executive officer of SUEZ Australia and New Zealand, Mark Venhoek, says the interstate transport of waste is an unnecessary and unsustainable practice that is driven purely by profits. Venhoek says SUEZ was absolutely opposed to the practice and does not transport waste interstate for disposal in landfills.
Venhoek welcomes the Government’s focus on sustainable waste management, which he says will drive innovation and investment in resource recovery and recycling.
“Communities expectations and our customers’ expectations have changed. They are increasingly looking for ways to put their waste to good use and divert waste from landfill,” he says.
“A comprehensive waste strategy supported by an appropriate waste levy will stop the unnecessary transport of waste and provide a unique opportunity for companies like SUEZ to invest in new resource recovery infrastructure in Queensland.
“We operate a wide variety of recycling and resource recovery facilities around Australia and the world and we’re excited about the prospects for the Queensland market,” Venhoek says. “SUEZ looks forward to contributing to the Government’s waste strategy and the development of a circular economy in Queensland.”