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Council plan to shape the future of waste reduction and recycling in Ipswich

A bold plan aimed at proactively managing the city’s waste and recycling challenges for the decade ahead has been adopted by Ipswich City Council, moving towards national best practice while acknowledging the city’s unique situation.

Adopted at the 24 June Ordinary Council meeting, the Resource Recovery Strategy and its associated Implementation Plan, will see new initiatives like a trial of food organics and garden organic (FOGO) waste collection with a view to citywide implementation, and a greater emphasis on separating recycling out of ‘red top’ bins.

Mayor Teresa Harding said the city’s waste and resource recovery management presented both massive challenges and opportunities for our growing city.

“After many years of inaction to effectively manage the city’s burgeoning waste management issues, this council has a plan to bring in modern and forward-looking practices to Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.

“We’re taking innovative steps to cut waste, improve resource recovery and drive the circular economy to deliver better outcomes for the city and its residents towards 2031.

“Residents are set to trial FOGO for the first time, we’re bringing glass back to yellow-top recycling and  exploring flexible on-demand kerbside collection models, as well as the future development of new waste management infrastructure.

“We’ve done extensive consultation with the community to prepare this Strategy, and we understand the urgent need to get on top of this issue: we’re working hard to meet residents’ expectations on greater change, sooner.”

Mayor Harding said the city was also facing significant issues in managing the vast volume of private waste from across the state, which presented its own unique challenge.

“The waste disposal challenges we face are long-running and well known to the community,” Mayor Harding said.

“Around 42 per cent of Queensland’s waste is disposed of in Ipswich and in 2018-19, the eight privately owned and operated landfills located in Ipswich received approximately 4.23 million tonnes of all waste generated by Queenslanders.

“This has a big impact on our local community, and it is council’s priority to move our city towards a brighter future on waste and resource recovery.

“We want to be part of the solution to this challenge.”

The Strategy has four pillars that will be actioned over the next 10 years:

  • expand the core collection service to include a food organics garden organics (FOGO) bin for all eligible Ipswich residents
  • optimise the city’s co-mingled recycling service including re-introduction of glass to the yellow-lid recycling bin
  • provide for a suitable kerbside collection service where household waste demands are satisfied, and valuable resources are recovered
  • have fit-for-purpose waste and resource recovery infrastructure that meets the needs of a growing city.

Feedback from the Ipswich community during public consultation through was very positive with 75 per cent of contributions either strongly agreeing or agreeing that the Strategy was right for Ipswich.

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