Rubbish alliance plan to deal with SEQ waste

IPSWICH and Somerset are among five southeast Queensland councils to join forces to tackle rubbish.

The SEQ West Waste Alliance was developed following off-shore recycling bans earlier this year in a bid for neighbouring councils to help each other deal with stockpiling rubbish.

Ipswich, Logan, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Scenic Rim are expected to join the SEQ West Waste Alliance to combat waste management, recycling and resource recovery.

It comes after Ipswich City Council in April revealed the cost of off-shore recycling was too much and all waste in Ipswich would go to landfill.

The decision was overturned days later but glass has since been banned from yellow-lid bins.

Somerset Regional Council meeting minutes reveal Ipswich City Council invited them to participate in a regional alliance for waste management, recycling and resource recovery 'to explore waste management options that could have significant benefit for the southeast regional councils, particularly leveraging off the current work that each council is undertaking in waste management and recycling'.

Somerset Regional Council has already agreed to participate in the new waste alliance.

"We are all facing similar issues with waste management at present and will be good to be able to work together to explore options for the potential benefit of all our ratepayers," Cr Lehmann said.

Mr Lehmann said the waste alliance was a key initiative in the council's newly adopted waste management strategy.

An Ipswich City Council spokesperson was unable to confirm if the council had agreed to officially join the alliance.

"Council is currently discussing future waste management opportunities with our neighbouring councils," the spokesperson said.

How the SEQ West Waste Alliance works

The Council of Mayors formed the Waste Working Group in June 2018 following the State Waste Levy and the China recycling decision.

China was Australia's biggest market for recycling waste but since January is had restricted imports of plastic, textiles and mixed paper because of a high contamination rates.

Up until the ban, Australia had been sending 619,000 tonnes of recycling waste to China every year.

The aim of the SEQ West Waste Alliance was to develop a collaborative role concerning waste issues.

The Waste Working Group established some councils needed to 'respond quickly to waste matters due to the expiry of pending contracts'.

It is proposed councils will collaborate with each other and share their recycling methods to determine if efficiencies in waste management might be achievable under the alliance.