TRASH TALK: Why residents are asked to do 'meal prep'
IN THE lead-up to Queensland's waste levy Gladstone residents have been encouraged to "meal prep" to reduce household waste.
But just four days away from the levy's introduction, a Gladstone business owner says it already has him feeling sour.
Gladstone Regional Council acting mayor Chris Trevor yesterday encouraged residents to make a conscious effort to minimise household waste and reduce the region's landfill.
He said residents should consider the amount of food they buy, compost food scraps and garden waste, and reuse or recycle items.
"Residents who make a conscious effort to minimise household waste often notice results quite quickly when they see only a small amount of waste in their wheelie bins," Cr Trevor said.
"The amount contributed to landfill can be reduced by diverting items from the general waste stream."
Cr Trevor said the levy would not affect the cost of the council's household waste service, which costs $326.50 per household per year.
However, waste disposal costs will be passed on to commercial operators who dispose of waste at the council's waste facilities.
Gladstone Blue Bins owner Tony Soppa said in his 14 years of business he had never increased his prices.
With the added costs of the waste levy, other businesses could be forced to raise costs.
Commercial operators are expected to pay $75 per tonne of general waste, $155 per tonne of Category 1 regulated waste and $105 per tonne for Category 2 regulated waste.
Mr Soppa said the increased costs could hurt consumers who use the services or encourage more people to illegally dump waste.
"People are just going to dump their ... rubbish anywhere," Mr Soppa said.
"They're doing (illegal dumping) now and it's going to get worse.
"It's just a money grab."
But Cr Trevor said affected businesses should look at how they too can reduce waste, separate waste streams and increase recycling.
"Collectively as a region the waste habits of all residents can help make a difference, with every waste minimisation action, big or small, making a difference," he said.
Earlier this year the Queensland Government gave the Gladstone Council $2.5million to offset any costs.
The money was used to cover costs of dumping municipal waste. Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett has previously said the waste levy would be "fantastic" for the region's bio-industry, including the Northern Oil Refinery.
For more information about the waste levy, visit qld.gov.au/waste-disposal-levy.