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Brisbane City pauses kerbside collection to boost recovery

Brisbane City Council is cancelling its kerbside pick-up for the next two years as it redirects funds to help residents and businesses through COVID recovery.

 

The council handed down its budget this week and Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner committed the Council to “encouraging a litter-free environment, managing collection of waste and recycling and encouraging waste diversion to re-use options.”

He also said that renters would receive free waste vouchers from July 1 and that larger recycling and green waste bins would also be provided to residents for no upfront cost.

“I want every Brisbane resident to be able to get rid of their household or green waste for free regardless of whether they own or rent. This is a fairer and more equitable system for Brisbane residents,” Schrinner said.

Waste Recycling Industry Association Queensland (WRIQ) CEO Mark Smith, believes that this decision goes in a different direction from current consumer behaviour.

“We have seen domestic waste volumes increase during COVID, and the problem with this move is that people are still going to need to dispose of waste and we know some people don’t do this the correct way. This may eventually push out costs to ratepayers, and health risk to the community as illegal dumping is likely to increase,” he told Inside Waste.

Smith also added that there was an opportunity lost to partner with charities who could recycle some of the furniture and other quality items which may now be dumped.

Meanwhile, the council estimates that the move to halt kerbside pick-up would save $13 million, which it insists would be redirected to “recovery initiatives” for residents, businesses and community groups. The kerbside collection move comes as the coronavirus pandemic has impacted hole in Brisbane City Council’s 2020-21 budget by $142.5 million.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said funds from kerbside pick-up would instead be spent on helping residents, businesses and community groups recover from coronavirus.