Combined approach seeks regional waste solution


Three South East Queensland councils are united in a bid to apply for funding to help the business case for a new local recycling and waste recovery facility.

Logan City Council, Ipswich City Council and Redland City Council have formed the SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance which represents more than 700,000 residents.

They have now lodged a joint funding application for a regional Material Recovery Facility (MRF) through the Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund (QRMF), which has up to $40 million to invest in recycling solutions across the state.

A site for the new facility is yet to be determined, but if funding is secured, it is hoped it will be operational within three years.

It would recycle waste from all three councils.

Mayors from the three councils within the Alliance said the joint MRF project could stimulate investment, create jobs and help develop a sustainable local circular economy.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said a combined approach to recycling would help all councils in the Alliance deliver on the Queensland Government’s waste diversion targets.

“We have a shared goal within this Alliance to build a Material Recovery Facility and create a new, collaborative approach to recycling and waste management that will bring numerous benefits to our communities,” Cr Harding said.

“We need the Queensland and Australian governments to support the Alliance in delivering this important project for the SEQ region, the state and the nation.”

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power said partnering with other councils makes sense economically and environmentally.

“I know our community wants a cleaner, greener environment and we are delighted to be working with neighbouring councils to explore new and more efficient ways to recycle,” Cr Power said.

“This is a great opportunity for the other levels of government to support us through the QRMF to achieve positive outcomes for all three communities.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council recognises the importance of waste infrastructure in the improvement of waste management on Redlands Coast.

“In planning for the future, we need to ensure economies of scale by collaborating with others and planning for the right infrastructure and services at the right time,” Cr Williams said.

“We now have the opportunity to work with other South East Queensland councils to explore opportunities for shared resource recovery infrastructure and programs and I look forward to positive waste management outcomes for our communities.”

The SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance was formed after a 2019 Expression of Interest (EOI) campaign seeking partners to help find innovative and efficient methods of waste disposal and resource recovery.

The worldwide EOI campaign was in response to significant changes in waste management in recent years.

The changes include tough new restrictions on sending items collected from yellow-lid bins to be recycled overseas.

In June this year, the SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance agreed to develop a business case for a new MRF in the region and to seek funding support from other levels of government.

If sufficient funding is secured, the facility would be designed, constructed and operated by an experienced contractor selected through a tender process.

The proposal is the only MRF project involving three councils in South East Queensland.

The QRMF is a co-contribution fund between the Australian and Queensland Governments with each investing $20 million. Any funding granted must be matched dollar for dollar by the successful applicant.