Turning trash into treasure – Queensland's push to start a recycling revolution

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Community Environment Political Queensland Government


Turning waste into valuable products is a new and innovative industry that is set to thrive in Queensland.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said Waste Free Systems is a Sunshine Coast-based business doing an incredible job fighting the war on waste.

“They collect used shampoo containers from 45 different salons and make them into prosthetic arms for children,” Ms Enoch said.

“This gives hair salons the ability to recycle their used plastic bottles, while helping people in need.”

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to investing in the waste and recycling industry.

“Last week we released the Government’s new Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, which presents a vision for Queensland to become a zero-waste society where waste is avoided, reused and recycled.

“Waste Free Systems is a great example of how we can embrace innovative ideas to reuse waste, and extract all of the value from products before they are disposed.

“Queensland is generating waste faster than we are growing in population, and this needs to be addressed.

“There are also more job opportunities in recycling than there are in landfill.

“The new strategy, and the waste levy that came into effect on Monday, will allow markets to grow and stimulate demand on innovative products that contain recycled material.”

Mr Bernie Craven, owner of Waste Free Systems, said he set up his company to help well-meaning hair salon and business owners go waste-free and reverse the current trends that are harming the environment.

“We realised that if we reorganise or reimagine the way waste is dealt with in small business we can impact the waste to landfill result in a major way.

“Currently our system is saving 90% of waste from landfill.

“We also wanted to help people and turn waste into profitable resources.

“Our Circular economy is a ground breaking new approach to an age old problem. Repurposing the waste to benefit the environment and the people in need.”

Minister Enoch said we needed to start seeing waste as a valuable resource.

“The new waste levy will do that, and help attract investment, develop new industries and products, and grow jobs across the state in the resource recovery sector,” she said.

“We are sticking by our commitment that ratepayers will not have to pay more to put out their wheelie bins or take a load of rubbish to the tip because of the waste levy.

“We are providing $143 million in advance payments to councils to ensure the don’t have to pass on the cost to ratepayers.”

Minister Enoch said the Government had put on extra compliance officers on top of the 145 staff who are already ensuring businesses are doing the right thing when it comes to waste management.

“The Department of Environment and Science now has 16 extra staff on the ground with more to come, which will help to prevent illegal dumping across the state,” she said.

For more information on Queensland new waste strategy, visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/strategy

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Environment and Heritage Protection : Queensland Government :
GPO Box 2454, Brisbane QLD 4001, Queensland Wide
13 74 68
Environment and Heritage Protection : Queensland Government
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