Fraser Coast recycling efforts take strain off landfill

THE Fraser Coast’s recycling levels continue to soar with more than 100,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill over the past financial year.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Team Leader Waste Operations Scott Hopkins and Cr David Lee check out some of the thousands of items on offer at the Recycle and Reuse Market at the Nikenbah Transfer Station. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

Division 9 Councillor David Lee made the announcement at the Nikenbah Transfer Station yesterday, as the Fraser Coast Regional Council marked National Recycling Week.

Some 180,000 tonnes of material passed over the weigh bridges at the Nikenbah Transfer Station and Saltwater Creek Road Landfill site in Maryborough during 2020/21.

Of this, only 72,000 tonnes went to landfill.

“The rest was reused, repurposed or recycled,” said Cr Lee.

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Another figure Cr Lee was particularly excited to share was the significant drop in contaminated material collected in ‘yellow-lid’ recycling bins.

Fraser Coast Division 9 Councillor David Lee address the media at the Nikenbah Transfer Station as part of National Recycling Week. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

The contamination rate through the fortnightly kerbside bin collection program has dropped from 48 per cent to 28 per cent over the past three years.

“People are playing their part,” Cr Lee said.

WATCH: Fraser Coast recycles enough polystyrene to fill an Olympic pool

He said it was important for communities and Council to adopt a continuous improvement mindset.

“We can always do better.”

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Cr Lee said by better understanding what can go in the ‘yellow-lid’ bins and by making sure items are properly rinsed, for example, the contamination rate can be reduced even further.

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To ensure this happens, Council has produced and shared a series of videos on social media, explaining what happens at recycling centres and the simple steps that can enhance the process.

“Council collected and recycled 11,000 tonnes of material through the fortnightly kerbside bin collection,” explained Cr Lee.

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“Our plan to build a new Material Recovery Facility will improve the amount of material we recover from the kerbside collection and again lower the amount of material going to landfill.”

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Recycled through Council’s waste facilities 2020/21:

  • 35,000 tonne of green waste (converted to mulch)
  • 30,000 tonne of clean fill
  • 4,700 tonne of mixed paper
  • 4,000 tonne of concrete
  • 4,000 tonne of cardboard
  • 3,000 tonne of timber
  • 1,400 tonne of coloured glass (wine bottles)
  • 780 tonne of mixed plastic (milk and drink bottles)
  • 192 tonne of steel cans
  • 50 tonne of tyres
  • 44 tonne of plastic film (clear plastic)
  • 41 tonne of aluminium cans
  • 10 tonne of polystyrene
  • 11 tonne of plaster board, and
  • More than 3500 mattresses.

Some 1,320 tonnes of items were also sold through the Maryborough and Nikenbah tip shops over the past year.

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“If items are not in a re-sellable condition, we salvage whatever we can at our recycling shed before disposing the rest to landfill,” Cr Lee said.

Residents are being encouraged to continue sorting their rubbish into reusables, recyclables, green waste and rubbish before heading to a waste facility.

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