Taskforce declare: Our Sunshine Coast – It’s too good to waste
  • Monday 31 August 2009

Diverting 70% of rubbish from landfill and eliminating plastic bags on the Coast are just two of the bold targets suggested in the Sunshine Coast Council’s Waste Strategy Taskforce discussion paper that is now on display for the community to have its say.

The discussion paper titled “Our Sunshine Coast – It’s too good to waste”, outlines a suggested direction for improved waste management on the Sunshine Coast and is informed by the expert advice and research undertaken by the community, industry and Council representatives of the Taskforce.

Taskforce Chair, Cr Keryn Jones, said a renewed and innovative approach to waste management was vital to achieving council’s vision of the Sunshine Coast becoming Australia’s most sustainable region.

“The stark reality is if we don’t do anything, our landfills on the Sunshine Coast will be full by 2014. So now, more than ever, we have an environmental, social and economic responsibility to minimise our waste and maximise the re-use of our resources,” Cr Jones said.

“If all the measures suggested in this discussion paper are implemented and successful, we will divert 70% of our waste from landfill by 2015 and be well on the right track towards reducing our waste to zero by 2020 – Council’s ultimate waste reduction goal. The added bonus will be that we will have created local, sustainable jobs.”

Key recommendations outlined in the discussion paper include:

  • Develop a “Sustainability Industrial Park” at Caloundra South to locate new “green” industries that re-manufacture products from recovered resources and create green jobs
  • Council to engage a private sector partner to recycle 70% of construction waste by 2012 and 70% of commercial waste by 2014
  • Install gas capture technology at Nambour, Caloundra and Eumundi landfills and explore energy use options
  • Trial new collection systems including a three bin system of waste, recyclables and organics
  • Partner with a proven compost manufacturer to turn our garden wastes into a saleable product and begin market development by 2011
  • Eliminate single use, non-compostable plastic bags by 2012 through a plastic bag reduction plan to be rolled out in 2010
  • Trial various types of food waste and nappy/personal hygiene collections from residents and commercial outlets
  • Monitor the success of anaerobic waste treatment plants in Australia and overseas with a view to implementing this technology on the Sunshine Coast in 2014
  • Increase the volume of organic wastes managed at home by providing encouragement and advice on composting and worm farming
  • Tender for a mattress recycler to save 9000 cubic metres of landfill each year
  • Investigate the feasibility of a waste to energy plant for residual waste in 2010

Taskforce member, Councillor Russell Green said the Taskforce is now seeking feedback on their ideas from the wider community.

“Community opinion and behaviour is a vital part of the equation and as many of the suggested waste reduction strategies involve residents and business in some way, it is important that the wider community has the opportunity to respond to the discussion paper and provide feedback and ideas,” Cr Green said.

“From that feedback, a draft Sunshine Coast Waste Reduction Strategy will be developed and presented to council in November this year for consideration and eventual adoption.”

Cr Jones said today’s launch was the culmination of five months hard work and wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge the countless volunteer hours undertaken by the community and industry representatives of the Taskforce.

“The community members of this Taskforce have dedicated many hours of research and hard work to bring to council what they believe to be the best way forward in waste management on the Sunshine Coast.

“They have debated openly and honestly and always with respect for each other’s views and on behalf of Council I thank them for their passion and unwavering commitment to this project.”

Residents are invited to provide feedback online at www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au or by picking up a feedback form from any council library or customer service centre.