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Scenic Rim Renews Its Commitment to Recycling

Scenic Rim Regional Council has renewed its commitment to recycling, forging ahead with plans that will position the region as an innovator in waste management.

Mayor Greg Christensen said that the increases in the cost of processing recyclable materials that have seen other councils opt to dispose of all household waste in landfill had less impact in the Scenic Rim due largely to the efforts of residents committed to recycling.

"The increased cost of recycling which is due to waste contamination - that is materials which are not suitable for recycling being disposed of with recyclables - is far lower in the Scenic Rim than in other areas as our residents are serious about recycling," he said.

"We know from our Community Plan public consultations that our region's spectacular scenery and natural environment are a key priority for Scenic Rim residents and this is reflected in their commitment to effectively managing waste.

"Region-wide we have a waste contamination rate of less than 15 per cent, compared with other local government areas where this can be as high as 50 per cent, while on Tamborine Mountain this is around five per cent - a credit to the community.

"Clearly, our region's concern for the environment is reflected in our residents' waste management practices and shows how our investment in waste management education, particularly in schools, is paying off."

Cr Christensen said that Council was exploring opportunities to convert waste into energy and creating other high-value by-products.

It has been pursuing opportunities to partner with other businesses to divert as much waste as possible from landfill.

This has seen much of the region's green waste channelled into producing compost for soil conditioning products for agricultural and domestic uses.

Scenic Rim Regional Council is currently upgrading its recycling management centre at the Bromelton landfill site, the first stage in processing the waste streams of plastic, glass, metal and cardboard.

The Bromelton site is also a collection point for electronic waste and there is a second e-waste facility at the Tamborine Mountain Waste Transfer Station.

"We believe there is much more potential in our waste management streams and we are involved in discussions to explore new avenues to convert waste to value," Cr Christensen said.

"As a smaller council we face financial constraints to directly undertake some of these solutions but we believe we are well-placed to host a powerful model of what is possible, based on our achievements to date.

"I am optimistic that we will gain support from our neighbouring councils and, of course, the State Government."

Cr Christensen said that the Scenic Rim was a quiet achiever in the waste management field and despite increases in recycling costs was committed to staying the course.

The region already has two long-term local businesses taking waste from across south-east Queensland for food production activities and converting this into energy, high-grade pharmaceutical industry feedstock and other high-value by-products.

"As a region that prides itself on having one of world's most magnificent agricultural and environmental footprints, we have an obligation to ensure we are working for a sustainable future," he said.

"This is not radical new-age thinking, but acknowledging, as other countries around the world have done, that we must act now and not burden future generations with our failure to properly manage waste.

"While failing to tackle this issue may produce a low cost outcome today, we risk lost opportunities to innovate and face the prospect of having to deal with a far greater problem in the future that would cost both our natural environment and the community dearly."