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Ipswich waste directive review complete

A comprehensive review of Ipswich City Council’s flagship Waste and Circular Economy Transformation Policy Directive has found significant progress has been made since its inception in 2020 and proposes new actions to continue to fight odour issues being faced by the Ipswich community.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said all councillors had backed the strategic approach to making systemic changes across waste, resource recovery and the circular economy, to deliver better outcomes for its residents now and into the future.

“The Waste and Circular Economy Transformation Policy Directive was one of the first orders of business of this council, and we remain determined to take further steps to protect our community and deliver best practice waste and resource recovery solutions,” Mayor Harding said.

“We are the first council in recent memory to take the waste issues faced by our city seriously, and the Waste and Circular Economy Transformation Policy Directive is our strategic approach to tackling waste industry issues and improving our own residential waste management and resource recovery.

“Our hard work does not stop here. We have had several court wins, success in our advocacy, and we continue to stand alongside our community when it comes to fighting against the negative aspects of the waste industry.”

Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle, who moved the original waste directive motion, said the then-new council announced a bold initiative in December 2020, taking innovative steps to cut waste, improve resource recovery and drive the circular economy.

“The directive is an ambitious policy instrument with a long-term implementation timeframe over a 10-year period. While the current review of its progress since implementation is encouraging, we are mindful we still have a long way to go to improve how waste is managed in our city,” Cr Doyle said.

“Council has also developed an Illegal Dumping and Litter Prevention Strategy and appointed new Illegal Dumping Prevention Officers, and successfully defended appeals by waste industry companies seeking to create additional and expanded waste landfills in Ipswich Local Government Area.

“With the introduction of our ‘on demand’ large item kerbside collection service, residents will also benefit from an annual rather than biennial service as well.”

A report to the first council meeting of 2024 highlighted the outputs and outcomes achieved and recommended the implementation of the directive continues with clear accountabilities for actions and .next steps to continue.

The 11 actions in the Directive include:

  • Review joint objectives with new Waste and Recycling Industry of Queensland (WRIQ) Chief Executive Officer and pursue other actions to support industry to strive towards and achieve best practice
  • Continue to review and develop contract specifications that drive industry best practice through council’s contracted waste operations and disposals
  • Continue efforts towards joint implementation of the South-East Queensland Waste Management Plan
  • Subject to its approval by council and the responsible Minister, implement Ipswich Plan 2024 and review the Resource Recovery and Waste Activity Code within 12 months of its commencement
  • Continue proactive compliance programs with waste industry operators and consider a specific compliance resource to focus on waste issues
  • Finalise mining void analysis with the Queensland Government with a focus on determining if there are remaining voids that are a safety risk to the community or require some form of intervention
  • Consider introduction of incentives for circular economy industry businesses in Ipswich
  • Investigate opportunities to use resource recovery and waste management and disposal contracts to benefit the city
  • Work with WRIQ to advocate for a portion of waste levy revenue to be available to the Ipswich community for re-investment
  • Continue to advocate to the Queensland Government to expedite the introduction of legislation to compel waste operators to in-vessel the composting of organic waste.

Deputy Mayor and Division 4 Councillor Russell Milligan said council has approved the implementation of a city-wide food organics, garden organics (FOGO) service and has secured $9 million in Queensland Government funding to support the implementation of the service including for the additional bins, caddies and education programs and to partner with a best practice FOGO processing partner.

Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said a new draft Planning Scheme for Ipswich, Ipswich Plan 2024, has been prepared and is founded on better waste and circular economy industry practice.

Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland said council has developed and adopted a Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan for a new Southern and Western Resource Recovery Centre in the future with engagement being undertaken with the community.

“This policy carries some weight – it’s not just window dressing,” Cr Ireland said.

Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen said councillors knew that the community had borne the brunt of the impacts of the “deplorable practices of some members of the waste industry for too long”.

“I welcome the review of the directive and the outputs and outcomes achieved, including developing, approving and implementing a Resource Recovery Strategy 2021-2031 and a Resource Recovery Implementation Plan.”

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