Talking Rubbish in the State Budget
Queensland handles over nine million tonnes of municipal waste a year, with illegally disposed waste costing the State Government a staggering $17.7 million a year to handle.
Behind the glossy promises of jobs and infrastructure in Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s third State Budget, there were some great initiatives that squarely addressed the growing problem.
The Queensland government is moving forward with the long-awaited container refund scheme which aims to increase recycling, create jobs and develop business opportunities in that space.
Similar schemes have been setup internationally, like the Hope for the Nations Cans and Bottles for Orphans charity in Kelowna, with much success.
Queensland will also be ‘banning the bag’ in a bid to reduce the use of 900 million single-use bags, of which a majority end up in landfill and 16 million end up in waterways, parks and drains, increasing the risks of flooding.
This will bring Queensland into alignment with Tasmania, South Australia, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.
The container refund scheme, along with the ban on single-use bags, has been budgeted to cost $2.5 million in 2017-18 and is to be implemented by 1 July 2018.
Additionally, the government has committed to continue supporting ecoBiz, delivered in partnership with CCIQ.
This program aims at assisting commercial business's reduce their energy, water and waste.
To date ecoBiz has been able to reduce businesses waste output by 23,000 tonnes and streamlined recycling processes internally to develop best practice saving reducing waste costs by 22%.
Waste not only affects Queensland environment, but also has effects on an economic level and to a business’ bottom line.
With this government signalling a focus on reducing Queensland’s waste footprint, small businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities on offer to make their businesses fiscally and environmentally sustainable.