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Byron Shire
December 4, 2023

Councils face price hike for garbage disposal

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The TiTree Bioreactor site in south-east Queensland, which local councils have described as ‘state of the art’. File photo

The Queensland Government has announced it will reintroduce a levy on interstate waste and two local councils using their services admit costs could go up in the short term.

Both Byron and Tweed councils ‘export’ their non-recyclable waste to ‘state of the art’ landfill sites in Queensland but both say they have dramatically cut their use of the service since introducing green waste bins in urban areas.

Lismore City Council processes its own landfill locally.

Tweed Council says its contractors currently transport ‘around 35,000 tonnes of residual waste annually to South East Queensland’.

Green bins

Byron Shire says its resource recovery programs and education campaigns ‘have seen more than 9,000 tonnes of organic waste in the last two years being diverted from landfill and turned into compost’.

Tweed says that since the introduction of green bins this year it is now diverting ‘62 per cent of domestic waste away from landfill, up from 40 per cent six months ago’.

Byron’s organic material is sent to Lismore ‘where it is processed into a valuable compost resource,’ according to Lloyd Isaacson, the council’s Resource and Recovery Team Leader.

Tweed Council’s Community and Natural Resources Director, Tracey Stinson, says there is a long-term plan for the shire to build its own waste management facility, at a cost of some $40 million.

Byron Council currently has no such plan.

State of the art

But both Tweed and Byron have defended the use of the Queensland facility, with Ms Stinson saying, ‘there are environmental benefits for us transporting residual waste to a state-of-the-art waste management centre which has landfill gas capture and energy recovery on the site’.

‘Modelling undertaken by Byron Shire Council has found that the transport and disposal of landfill waste to Queensland results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved environmental outcomes compared to the technology that is viably available for landfill management in the Byron Shire,’ Mr Isaacson said.

Meanwhile, Ms Stinson said, Tweed Council is ‘ready to make the changes needed as a result of the Queensland levy and can begin accepting waste at Stotts Creek again when required’.

‘We have at least two years’ worth of air space at our facility which could be extended even further the more successful our community is at reducing our waste,’ she said.

Mr Isaacson said, ‘Byron Shire Council is currently revising its Integrated Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy which includes the assessment of innovative options for the medium to long-term processing of waste.

‘The objective of this strategy is to define a path to maximise resource recovery and maintain a landfill free shire,’ he said.

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  1. Why not send it south for backfill in old open cut mines
    There are many in NSW that could be reclaimed this way and trees grown on top for reducing carbon .
    This garbage should be separated to maximise resource recovery.

  2. Do what they do in Venice Italy where they produce electricity with it all so how hard would it be for each Shire to copy Venice ?

  3. That is great that we have to pay more for landfill, perhaps it will help to reduce consumption. There is a strong culture of creating landfill and a luck of education, or interest, regard the environmental foot prints of our consumptions.

    Yes you can send the problem some where else, yes you can be rich and pay more for landfill, however, one day you will run out of room. Ok them we will send it to Mars, Moon, Ocean, etc

    The reality is that it is to cheap to create landfill and convenient for a industry that keep creating goods that can’t be reused or recyclable, because at the end of the day the consumer will pay to dump.

    Yes we can keep mining and burial again to dispose it, with a narrow mind that we leave in a Planet with no roof and no floor.
    I hope that landfill prices keep risen.


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