Benaraby Waste Landfill.

Photo David Sparkes / The Observer
Benaraby Waste Landfill. Photo David Sparkes / The Observer David Sparkes

Mayor defends rise in garbage collections

MAYOR Matt Burnett has defended a 10.3 per cent increase in Gladstone Regional Council's garbage collection charge following last week's 2018/19 budget announcement.

Domestic garbage collections charges will increase from $296 to $326.50 per year ($4.19 per collection) with China's policy to no longer accept Australia's recyclables the main reasoning for the $30.50 increase.

"Yes it's a reasonable increase but there isn't a local government in Queensland or Australia that isn't facing the same issue," Cr Burnett said.

"We didn't expect China to do what they did, but we already had our waste energy project at the Benaraby landfill and we've already been looking at waste energy projects.

"We have the biofuels plant, which is an independent company, but the Gladstone region is very focussed and placed as an energy hub for Queensland and Council wants to be completely part of it.

"We'll either partner with someone else or go alone, but we'll be looking at ways to derive an income from our waste streams in Gladstone."

Cr Burnett highlighted work being done, albeit on a small scale, at the Benaraby landfill where methane gas is being converted into electricity.

"To make these things work you need feed stock - the rubbish that comes from municipal waste - and we'd need more than just from the Gladstone regional area," he said.

"It also depends on the scale - a smaller one isn't going to generate the income it needs to for the cost of it to run."

Cr Burnett hoped Councillor Rick Hansen's upcoming overseas Waste Study Tour, taking him to Denmark, Spain, United Kingdom and USA would prove beneficial.

Cr Hansen will visit the world famous Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen during his 16-day tour beginning August 16.



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