Qld Gov swaps food waste for Lockyer Valley jobs

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

Household food scraps and garden waste will be turned into mulch, soil and opportunities for new jobs in a partnership between the Palaszczuk Government and Lockyer Regional Council.

Funded by the state government, council will provide 900 households in the region with a third bin to trial and dispose of organic waste that can then be transformed into valuable products like compost.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said that a successful system could see up to 83 per cent of food and garden waste diverted from landfill and instead create new opportunities for business, savings for council and more jobs in resource recovery.

“It’s part of our almost $1 billion investment this year to act on waste, protect our environment, create jobs and help drive Queensland’s economic recovery plan through COVID-19,” Minister Scanlon said.

“We know that for every one job in traditional landfill, you can create three times that when you invest in recycling programs like this, like the popular container exchange scheme and resource recovery.

“Our popular Containers for Change program has already created 700 jobs right across Queensland and put more than $400 million back into the pockets of families, community groups and charities.

“If successful, this program in Lockyer Valley could create long-term jobs, a new stream of income for the local economy and help reduce the harmful methane gases create when food and organic waste rots in landfill.”

The $320,000 trial is expected to kick off later this year, with council to measure test collection frequencies, infrastructure types and community engagement methods.

The trials are expected to be completed in late 2022, with information collected form the trial used to inform a full-scale rollout.

Minister Scanlon said trials would be announced for other local government areas in Queensland soon, and follows the success of similar programs in other states.

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