Waste audit carried out to determine region's future needs

GLADSTONE Regional Council carried out a household waste audit this month to help determine future regional waste needs and requirements.

The council's engineering services portfolio spokesperson councillor Rick Hansen said the disposal habits of a sample of residents within the Gladstone region were viewed in early November over a four day period.

"During the audit period 45 waste and 45 recycle bins were randomly collected across the region each day," Cr Hansen said.

The domestic waste audit was the third undertaken in the Gladstone region since 2006, as part of regional audits which are co-ordinated by the Central Queensland Local Government Association.

"Data from the audit is used to record waste generation trends, analyse the effectiveness of recycling and tailor future waste and recycling education programs," Cr Hansen said.

"The information can then be used for further comparative waste management analysis with other regions."

Contents of the household collections were sorted into seven major categories which included paper, organic, glass, plastic, metal, hazardous and other.

These were then broken down into 53 sub-categories, including for example, four sub-categories for glass including clear, green and brown glass bottles/jars and plate glass/other glass.

Observations at the time the material was delivered to the processing area revealed a high proportion of waste contamination of recycled materials incorrectly disposed of in waste bins.

"A high level of green waste was also found incorrectly discarded in household waste bins and also in recycling bins which then contaminated other correctly disposed of recycled items," Cr Hansen said.

Observations also indicated a need for greater efforts to encourage residents to place recyclables loosely in household recycling bins and not in plastic bags.

Collected data will now be collated with complete audit results available next year.