Recycling industry set to grow in Queensland

Image Credit: Queensland Government
Media Release

The Palaszczuk Government is committed to modernising waste management in Queensland, and has set a path forward for Queensland to grow the recycling and waste management industry.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said Queensland was one of the worst performers in Australia for recycling, and that is why the Government has implemented a number of measures to improve waste management in Queensland.

“In Queensland, we recycle only 45% of our waste, so more than half of the waste we generate goes to landfill,” she said.

“We are also generating waste faster than we are growing in population.

“But with the introduction of the waste levy earlier this month, and the release of a new Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy for Queensland, we are on the right path forward to grow the recycling and resource recovery industry.”

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government had also implemented measures to reduce plastic waste and litter in Queensland, including a ban on single-use plastic bags and the container refund scheme where people receive a 10-cent refund for recycling plastic containers.

“Plastic waste in Queensland is generated from a variety of different sources including household, litter, agriculture, industrial and commercial,” Ms Enoch said.

“One of the biggest types of plastic waste in Queensland is packaging. In 2017-18, 27,000 tonnes of plastic packaging was recovered in Queensland, and in south-east Queensland, about 78% of this was recovered.

“But there is room for improvement.

“In Queensland there were 26 companies that received plastic for recycling in 2017-18, some of which are based in reginal areas including Rockhampton, Wide Bay-Burnett, Mackay and Townsville.

“The introduction of the waste levy, and the release of the new strategy, will help the recycling industry to grow and help build more capacity to recycle and recover waste in our state.”

Ms Enoch said more regional processing centres had been established since the introduction of the container refund scheme last November.

“These processing centres service the containers collected through refund points and prepare the containers for sale through an on-line auction portal,” Minister Enoch said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to the growth of the recycling industry, and that is why we are investing $100 million into the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program to improve existing operations or bring significant new facilities to Queensland.

“This program will help grow our state’s capacity to process our own recycling.”