Dropping a load off at the Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre is just the beginning of the journey.

This is a C-17A Globemaster III. Now picture 27 of these. Take a moment.

That’s how much general waste, recycling and green waste goes through the Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre in a month. Yes, a month.

And that’s not counting the scrap metal, vehicle batteries and tyres, cardboard, E Waste, motor oil and more that is also dealt with onsite.

This is the busiest time of year – as soon as it’s school holidays, Christmas or public holidays – when everyone has time to do a clean out at home. The transfer station is only closed Christmas Day and Good Friday, and on average would have 10,720 customers in a month.

Here are some things you maybe didn’t know about the Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre.

2016-2017 Financial Year average per month:

tonnes waste to landfill

tonnes recycled material

tonnes greenwaste

tonnes scrap metal

tonnes cardboard

tonnes e-waste

litres motor oil

There’s a popular myth that if it goes in The Pit, it goes straight to landfill. During the week The Pit is separated. The trucks that collect the domestic yellow-lid recycling bins deliver the contents to one end of The Pit, with the material then pushed by the drott (see video) onto trucks heading to a recycling facility. Then the drott will push the general waste, from the other end of The Pit, onto different trucks heading for landfill.

There are designated sections on site for green waste, concrete, dirt, and a variety of items from e-waste to tyres. The secret is to sort your waste when packing your vehicle – it saves a lot of time and makes sure as much is diverted from landfill as possible. Council staff, both on foot and in a loader, make sure the designated sections contain the correct material. Contractors collect the material from site and take to the recycling destination.

This is what can happen if a mobile phone is thrown in the pit, rather than disposed of properly.

Working at the transfer station requires specialist knowledge and awareness as there are potential dangers everywhere. Mobile phone batteries can combust with a white-hot flame, setting fire to other material nearby. Mobile Muster lists seven Ipswich locations where you can drop off your mobile for free to be recycled. Asbestos is not accepted at Riverview.

Many DIY home renovators don’t realise it can be in anything from linoleum to pipes. The only legal means of asbestos disposal is to hire an asbestos skip from a waste removal agency or consult an accredited asbestos removal specialist.

Riverview is an approved Paintback collection site for unwanted paint and packaging. Dispose of up to 100L liquid paint (in containers of no more than 20L capacity at a time) for free.

Once a year there is a free household chemical and listed items drop-off day. The next event is Saturday, 30 June 2018.

Costly business of dealing with rubbish

It’s not possible to compare waste fees between Councils.

  • Some charge by weight, some by vehicle type, some by cubic metre.
  • Some charge different fees depending on the type of waste.
  • Most require proof of residency, with some having extra fees for non-residents
  • Some Councils have different fees for different facilities

dollars to dispose of the first 500kg of waste at Riverview

example Fee snapshot – domestic general waste only
  • Ipswich: (Riverview) First 500kg waste $12, (Rosewood) first 2 cubic metres waste $12
  • Brisbane: Cars and station wagons $12 for up to 500kg waste. Domestic vehicle or trailer combinations $12.10 for up to 100kg waste, $28.60 for 100-500kg waste.
  • Lockyer Valley: Less than 240lt per person and/or per vehicle free. Fees range from $7-$20 depending on car/ute/trailer combination. Out of region residents minimum $24 charge.
  • Logan: Loads up to 2 cubic metres or 750kg – car $8, car and trailer $12, ute and trailer $19 (non-residents $13, $20 and $30 respectively)

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