REGYP commissioned a brief study on waste recycling in Southeast Queensland (SE QLD) in early 2016 to ascertain what recycling was being carried out by local facilities.
The findings were damning of the current SE QLD waste industry:
- Where many of the larger waste companies own Construction & Demolition (C&D) landfills, whom benefit from higher disposal volumes
- Due to a non existent Waste Levy, most of the construction waste (esp around greater Brisbane) is sent to landfill unsorted with very little recycling
- Onsite waste separation by the construction industry is seen as time consuming with no financial incentive
- Customers and Principal contractors with projects in QLD are less likely to have Green Star projects or have a recycling requirement in their construction contracts
- Some smaller waste participants in SE QLD advertise separation and recycling of C&D waste streams, however the report found no evidence of this. The advertisement wording could have been from the previous short lived QLD Waste Levy in 2011.
- Some of the small to medium waste businesses weren’t even recycling concrete, bricks and steel from their construction waste streams. Something that is unheard of in states with functioning waste levies.
From the report findings the current commercial and legislative environment in QLD is not conductive to waste separation and recycling. Until the Queensland Government introduces a substantial Waste Levy or landfill costs otherwise rise substantially, the environment for recyclers of construction and demolition waste will remain unfeasible.
Landfill costs may rise in SE QLD in the near future due to the amount of NSW waste still crossing the boarder for disposal. The increased volume from NSW & VIC will fill the current landfills in the Brisbane area sooner. This will then add effect of new landfill setup costs further out of Brisbane and increased transport costs for disposal to the gate fee equation.