Operating hours for a number of waste facilities in the Central Highlands region will be reduced come 1 July, as the Queensland Government rolls out its state-wide waste levy.
The levy, which is the centrepiece of the state government’s new resource, recovery and waste strategy, will be administered by the Central Highlands Regional Council as the region’s landfill operator.
Council’s CEO Scott Mason said the levy will have no direct impact on households, but will result in changes to waste facility opening hours.
‘As much as we would like to keep our facilities open as they are, this is not possible due to our reporting and compliance requirements under the levy and the increase in contamination and illegal dumping risks,’ Mr Mason said.
‘Council will need greater control and monitoring over the waste that is disposed of at landfills, transfer stations and bin stations. This means we will need our region’s 18 waste facilities to be continuously manned when open for business or have restricted access to locals only.
‘The vast size of our region and staff numbers simply do not allow us to achieve this with the current operating hours. Our options were to increase staff meaning a significant increased cost to ratepayers or reduce operating hours, and we chose the latter.’
Mr Mason said manned sites would also help deter residents from neighbouring councils using Central Highlands facilities to avoid gate fees.
He urged residents to immediately report any littering or illegal dumping either to council or through the state government’s online portal.
‘The amount of waste Queenslanders produce is growing faster than our population,’ he said.
‘We all have a part to play when it comes to protecting our environment. We hope our residents will continue to do the right thing and local businesses will take this opportunity to really look at how they can reduce, reuse and recycle more.’
Council held drop-in information sessions across the Central Highlands in April and June to gather valuable feedback on the new proposed operating hours.
‘To meet community needs, amendments were made to the schedule where possible,’ Mr Mason said.
‘We also conducted traffic counts at a number of our facilities over a three-month period late last year and this data was used to guide the changes.’
The new hours, available here, will come into effect on Monday 1 July 2019.
The levy on waste going to landfill will apply to business and commercial waste and will be charged at $75 per tonne.
For more information about the levy and helpful resources head here.