Residents urged to think twice about their waste habits
GLADSTONE Regional Council is encouraging all residents to think twice about their waste habits with the Queensland Government levy on waste approaching.
It comes after GRC received more than $2.5 million from the State Government to ensure ratepayers will not pay more for the introduction of the waste disposal levy.
Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher also confirmed Queenslanders would not be paying more to put out their wheelie bin or take a load of rubbish to the tip, when the waste levy comes into effect on July 1.
"We are assisting councils by providing advance payments to ensure costs associated with the waste levy are not passed onto ratepayers," Mr Butcher said.
"We are providing funding to councils that covers 105 per cent of what they dispose in municipal waste, which means they are able to use the extra funds to invest in facilities and waste management programs."
Mayor Matt Burnett also reiterated the $2.5m payment would help council "cover the cost of dumping our municipal waste".
"The $2.5m is just reimbursing for what our costs are going to be - it's not like we've got a $2.5m grant to go spend on football fields or other things," Cr Burnett said.
"It's reimbursing for the cost we have to dump municipal waste."
The advance payment covers councils' municipal solid waste, which includes wheelie bins, self-hauled waste to the dump, street sweepings and park maintenance.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said a total $143 million was being provided to 43 Queensland councils this year in advance payments, before the waste levy comes into effect.
"Queensland is fighting a war on waste, and the introduction of the waste levy will increase investment in the recycling and resource recovery industry and create more jobs," Ms Enoch said.
"At the moment, we are generating waste faster than we are growing in population and we are also recycling only 45 per cent of the waste we generate. That is why the State Government is taking action."
Meanwhile, Gladstone councillor Rick Hansen invited all community members to take up the challenge of reducing their own waste, in any way they can.
"The levy is about reducing waste to landfill and increasing recycling and resource recovery," Cr Hansen said.
"It encourages our community to consider how we can make simple changes in everyday life to reduce the heavy burden of waste on our beautiful natural environment, the Southern Great Barrier Reef, our wildlife, and our own health."
Cr Hansen also encouraged members of the community to attend the annual Ecofest event on Sunday in preparation for the levy to take effect.
"The theme of this year's Ecofest event, Slim your bin with a low waste diet, is very fitting given the introduction of the levy," he said.
Further information on the waste levy is available at qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/disposal-levy