A waste disposal levy alone will not solve Queensland’s recycling crisis

A waste disposal levy alone will not solve Queensland’s recycling crisis
A waste disposal levy alone will not solve Queensland’s recycling crisis

A new waste disposal levy in Queensland for major waste streams, including construction and demolition (C&D) material, is expected to kick in from early 2019.

In a paper titled Transforming Queensland’s Recycling and Waste Industry Directions, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) has proposed a $70 per tonne levy for all C&D materials like concrete, asphalt and demolition rubble to recycle material into aggregate for use in construction applications.

Diverting C&D materials from landfill may benefit recycling aggregate companies in Queensland from sales at the gate, and in the long term the need for virgin quarry products may be reduced.

This week, Alex Fraser Managing Director Peter Murphy told Keith Noyahr from Quarry Magazine why a levy alone does not ensure the materials diverted from landfill are recycled.

Peter urged that there needs to be a more proactive approach by operators, government bodies and contractors.

“While we welcome any initiative that encourages recycling over landfill, there are still ridiculous barriers to the reuse of recycled materials,” said Peter.

“These barriers make it much more difficult to use recycled products than virgin quarried materials.”

Murphy said for the levy to succeed, local and state government entities needed to make sure the use of recycled materials was as easy as using virgin quarried products.

“Reputable operators and a strong market for products is critical, and the success of C&D material recycling in some parts of Australia is largely because government agencies, contractors and asset owners use recycled materials to build and maintain infrastructure,” he said.

“In fact a strong end market for recycled materials is well proven to be more effective at reducing landfill than a levy alone.”

For more information on the Queensland waste disposal levy, read the full article in Quarry Magazine.

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