SLIPPING: Mayor Tony Wellington (right) and his council are losing the landfill diversion momentum.
SLIPPING: Mayor Tony Wellington (right) and his council are losing the landfill diversion momentum. Peter Gardiner

Wasting our green bins has council concerned

NOOSA'S war on waste is losing ground, with landfill diversion rates slipping behind last 2016-17's high of 43.44 per cent.

The six-monthly Noosa Council waste management report shows that less that 41 per cent managed to be diverted last financial year.

Council waste manager Wayne Schafer said the rate of green waste collection was disappointing given the urban expansion of garden bin services with only an extra 900 tonnes collected over the previous financial year.

"We collected nearly 4000 tonne of green waste this year - there's probably another 5000 tonne going to landfill. It's huge,” Mr Schafer said.

"Significant improvement is required from council and the Noosa community to reach the aspiration targets of zero net emissions and zero waste to landfill.”

And a waste collection audit carried out as part of the Zero Emissions Noosa push returned a disappointing outcome with 62 per cent of the material in general waste could have been diverted out of landfill.

The contents of the straight to landfill red top bins was 17.3 per cent garden waste, almost 30 per cent food waste and 15.5 per cent recyclables - with the latter for the yellow bin.

Mayor Tony Wellington said this outcome showed the council needs to ramp up a new education program to improve this wastage.

The council was told an overall behavioural change was required and that anecdotal reports from one collection drive was that only around three out of five residents were putting out the green waste bins.

Council CEO Brett de Chastel asked what will happen if the council's does not reach the 2024 state target waste diversion rate from landfill rate of 55 per cent.

He was told there are no penalties to be imposed at this stage.

But even with all of the green waste going being kept out of landfill, staff said the diversion rate would only increase to about 43 per cent - 12 per cent short of the target.

Mr Schafer said the amount of waste Noosa locals generates has doubled over the last 20 years and this rate has been fairly consistent.

"So you could expect in 20 years times we're going to be doing (handling) twice as much as we do now - hopefully a lot of that waste will be able to be diverted such as e-waste,” he said.

Mr Schafer does not share the Local Government Association of Queensland's confidence in the eventual operation of five waste to energy plants operating along the state's coast.

"The transport costs would be a killer,” he said.

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