Don’t waste this chance to have your say on waste strategy

North Queenslanders are being encouraged to have their say on the management of the region’s waste and resources for the next decade.

The North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (NQROC) is working to develop the North Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020 – 2030.

NQROC chairperson and Burdekin Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the regional approach would benefit ratepayers from across the region’s five councils.

“A collaborative approach that includes the Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville councils gives us a better chance of attracting more investors to support recovery and recycling infrastructure,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The combined approach could help us develop regional markets for diverted organics, recyclables and construction material.”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said residents can have direct input into the 10-year plan.

“A key focus is to reduce waste sent to landfill by reusing, repairing or recycling more material,” Cr Hill said.

“One of the most important parts of the Strategy will be seeing how we can reduce organic waste and misplaced recyclables in the kerbside household waste bins.”

Townsville Council’s Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said organic waste would be a major focus of the strategy.

“We have made some great strides in recycling in Townsville but we’re hoping to take a big step forward with improved management of organic material,” Cr Cook said.

“At the moment, organic waste accounts for almost 40% of the content in the kerbside household waste bins, so we could introduce a third household bin for garden and potentially food organics. In addition to this, one-quarter of the waste in household bins is misplaced recyclables, so we can make some major improvements in waste management in the 10-year strategy.”

Cr Cook said the Strategy will also look for ways to create local jobs.

“Recycling and reuse are important parts of the North Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020 – 2030 and they can help the economy,” Cr Cook said.

“There is a focus on creating local markets for recovered materials and this can support businesses and jobs across the region.

“There’s the potential to develop shared mobile processing equipment that can be used by all five councils.”

Residents are invited to share their thoughts about the North Queensland Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030 on Townsville City Council’s Have Your Say website from today.

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