Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) Water and Waste Committee today (February 9) recommended that Council endorse the Waste Management Strategy 2021 that will guide waste operations and future strategies to reduce waste and preserve resources over the next three years.

Councils are required to review and adopt a waste strategy every three years. TRC adopted its most recent plan in 2017.

TRC Water and Waste Committee portfolio leader Cr Nancy Sommerfield said a key focus of the new strategy was identifying waste as a resource instead of a problem.

“The plan includes targets for waste reduction and diversion from landfill, which will have operational cost savings and environmental benefits,” Cr Sommerfield said.

“We have adopted the state government’s ambitious targets for the diversion of domestic waste from landfill to ensure we continue to offer the community opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle materials that can be re-purposed.

“This goal will be achieved through five outcomes and 18 specific actions outlined in the new strategy.”

Cr Sommerfield said Council would investigate and implement key strategic plan initiatives, including:

• Investigating the viability of a local Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for processing of recyclables,
• Consideration of kerbside food and organics (FOGO) collection and processing,
• Developing and tendering for a new kerbside collection contract, with consideration for the potential inclusion of FOGO and local processing of recyclables,
• Investigation of energy from waste opportunities for materials that cannot otherwise be reused or recycled, and
• Using existing information and infrastructure to target waste-related communication with the community to influence behaviour change.

TRC Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said Council appreciated the high priority that residents placed on good waste management.

“This was highlighted during the community consultation we conducted in late 2020 when more than 900 people completed the survey. What our residents told us has been used to shape the new strategy,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“Waste management is an essential public service and Council’s strategic vision of ‘a Sustainable Tomorrow’ will help improve service delivery for residents while also meeting legislative and environmental requirements.”

The committee recommendation will be considered for adoption at next Tuesday’s (February 16) Ordinary Meeting of Council.