Gladstone could have more than just the red and yellow bins.
Gladstone could have more than just the red and yellow bins.

Third bin? All options explored in waste strategy

A THIRD kerbside bin for food and garden organics is among the options being explored by Gladstone Regional Council to reduce the region's waste.

At the council's recent general meeting it adopted the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, which sets out a 10-year road map to reduce household waste and contamination of recyclables.

The strategy, prepared by GHD, outlined key priorities including exploring the introduction of a three bin system for food and garden organics.

It estimated 20 to 30 per cent of waste in Gladstone's red lid bins is green waste and a further 20 to 30 per cent is food waste.

Recommending exploring this option within three to five years, the report said local operators could compost organics.

It said the council should develop a business case for in-vessel composting - either individually or in collaboration with other regional councils and partners.

"It is important that GRC consider the merits of providing enhanced kerbside waste collection," the report said.

It did however warn that while it would reduce waste going to landfill, it would increase costs of processing.

The strategy supports the Queensland Government's 2050 targets to reduce household waste by 25 per cent. increase recycling to 75 per cent and for only 10 per cent of waste to go to landfill.

The council's own targets are to increase recycling by 20 per cent, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and achieve zero waste to landfill.

The report recommended the council appoint a waste and recycling education officer with a focus on litter and contamination of recyclables.

The report found the region had a contamination rate of 20 per cent for kerbside recycling bins - higher than the state average of 16 per cent.

"I bump into people who tell me they don't worry about recycling because it all goes to landfill anyway," Councillor Kahn Goodluck said.

"It's critically important we start those education programs sooner rather than later."

It also found illegal dumping cost the council $200,000 a year.

Deputy mayor Chris Trevor said they should consider placing stickers on yellow bins to identify what can be recycled.

He said this was done on public bins at Agnes Water.

"I wonder if the sticker phenomena could be part of the whole region," he said.

Councillor Rick Hansen, who attended the Local Government Association of Queensland's international Zero Waste Tour last year, said the strategy "nailed it".

"We now need to be thinking about budgetary requirements so we can reach these goals," he said.

Other priorities include upgrading Benaraby Landfill, improving data collection of waste generation and reuse and reviewing waste collection services contracts.