North Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy
Burdekin Shire takes a proactive role in the collection of waste to keep our most valuable resource – our water – clean and clear.
The councils of Burdekin, Townsville, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook collaborate together by engaging with the local communities to develop the North Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy.
The strategy sets out how our local communities will manage waste in the future. Our participation in the strategy will ensure that, in conjunction with our neighbouring shires, our waste management practices are efficient and protect our region’s environment.
The strategy aims to provide a coordinated approach to promote waste avoidance and reduction, encourage efficiencies across the council regions and modernise waste management.
North Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030
Council adopted the North Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030 (‘the Strategy’) at its meeting held on 24 November 2020 following a public consultation program undertaken from 14 August to 18 September 2020.
The recent elevation of waste on the National and State agendas provided a strong reason to review and update the 2014-24 Plan. The effective closure of the China trade for mixed recyclables created pressure for the Commonwealth to provide national leadership. The largely mothballed 2009 National Waste Policy was redrafted and National Packaging Targets were unveiled with ambitious 2025 goals for recycling and recycled content. A National Food Waste Strategy was also introduced.
At a State level, the Containers for Change Scheme commenced and many State policies and strategies were updated or introduced. Funding for recycling and circular economy type purposes was also made available.
The NQROC took action to prepare the new Strategy. The Strategy is built around the idea that we need a more rigorous view of each of our ‘waste’ streams and the opportunities they present to reduce, reuse, repair, recycle and otherwise recover. It supports development of a circular economy that creates jobs, reduces pressure on landfill and the environment, and works towards the Queensland Government’s 2050 waste targets.
A region-wide focus presents opportunities that is more than the sum of its five individual councils. Combined volumes of waste can attract investment in more ambitious recovery infrastructure. Mobile processing equipment that can be shared between councils makes affordable the infrastructure that a single council could not fund on its own. Pooled resources and collective thinking can generate innovative programs that then benefit from consistency across the region.
The single biggest decision over the 10-year life of the Strategy is how to extract more value from the residual waste in the general waste bins. The key options are introducing a separate collection for organic materials (to turn it into clean compost) and recovering energy from the mixed waste stream through an energy-from-waste facility.
The key challenges to developing new recycling programs and facilities in the NQROC region are the limited volume of tonnes, long transport distances both within and outside the region, and the need for secure end markets for the recovered materials.
The Strategy identifies a suite of actions to address these challenges and unlock investment in new infrastructure and equipment for target recovery streams.
The Strategy includes an Implementation Plan relevant to the NQ Region and individual Council Action Plans.
You can download both the current and previous strategies using the link in the Related Documents section below.