Waste

For most people, waste’s storyline ends as soon as it hits the curb. In reality, that is only the beginning of its narrative. The waste process is a long, complicated one with lots of laws and regulations surrounding it. Queensland is no exception; waste has presented the state with various problems, which the government and private companies have been working to address.

The issues regarding waste are addressed at the federal, state, and local level. The Australian government’s national waste policy is focused in six main areas: taking responsibility, improving the market, pursuing sustainability, reducing hazard and risk, tailoring solutions, and providing the evidence.[1. http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/national-waste-policy/about-policy]

With the national government commandeering this waste policy, many of the Australian states have make significant changes in recent years to how recycling functions, making their system much more efficient. Although Queensland has strived for similar goals, in general the state has fallen short of the improvements the other states have achieved. As a result, Queensland has recently given more effort to improving how waste is handled, both on the state and local levels.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management, a Queensland state level department, released a ten year plan in 2010 called “Queensland’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Strategy 2010-2020”. It describes the goals of the state in regard to how waste and recycling is managed and also informs the reader how they intend to obtain these goals. A link to this document can be found in the “Readings” section of the website.

Many private companies around the world find the recycling industry to be a profitable one and inexpensive to get their foot in the door. A similar trend can be found in Queensland, where companies specialize in recycling certain types of waste. The company Alex Fraser has converted 24 million tons of construction and demolition waste into road base and aggregates for civil construction.[2. http://www.alexfraser.com.au/section/Home/About_us] Three of their six facilities are located in Queensland. Another example, the Suncoast Gold Macadamias Biomass Cogeneration Facility, converts Macadamia nut shell waste into energy. More details about this company can be found in the video below. The recycling industry presents a great economic opportunity that many companies have taken advantage of.

Queensland is not immune to the common waste problems experienced by other countries. Illegal dumping, what to do with electronic waste (e-waste), and the amount of waste that ends up in landfills are all problems that Queensland is working to fix, and will be discussed in more detail in the video below.

For Queensland, waste is an important topic that can often times be overlooked by the public. The problems it causes, such as illegal dumping and hazardous waste, have numerous social and environmental effects. In order to combat these problems, the various levels of government have created laws and legislation. As a recent, Queensland has worked even harder to address these problems and to increase the overall amount of recycling. Private companies have also found a way to insert themselves into the recycling industry and have found profit from it. More information about waste and its impacts on Queensland can be found in the video below.

List of Images in Order of Appearance:

1. White, Damian. From “Queensland a ‘dumping ground’ for southern states“.

2. From “Queensland’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Strategy 2010-2020“.

3. Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. From “Queensland’s draft waste strategy unveiled“.

4. From “Does Plastic or Glass Require More Energy to Recycle?

5. From http://www.burdekin.qld.gov.au/council/latest-news/

6. From Burdekin Shire Council’s Environment, Waste, and Water Page.

7. From the “Illegal Dumping” page on Queensland Government’s Website.

8. Jonasson, Erin. “Rich Are Better at Recycling? What a Total Load of Rubbish“.

9. From “Suncoast Gold Macadamias Biomass Cogeneration Facility, Queensland, Australia“.

10. From “Suncoast Gold Macadamias Biomass Cogeneration Facility, Queensland, Australia“.

11. Basel Action Network, From “Upgrading Your iPhone? Don’t Let Your Old Phone Become E-Waste“.

12. From the 1800ewaste Company Website.

13. From the “Waste” page on the Queensland Government website.