THE Bligh Government’s move to reduce the volume of industrial waste being poured into Queensland landfills couldn’t come sooner, according to hazardous waste management company BCD Technologies.
Queensland’s waste management reform will step up a notch in July with the introduction of an industry waste levy, charging businesses $35 per tonne for general waste and $50 to $150 for low and high hazardous waste.
With Victoria and New South Wales having implemented similar charges several years ago, BCD Technologies commercial manager Jonathan Fisher, says Queensland’s waste management practices must catch up.
“Queensland has already fallen behind many other Australian states, but this landfill levy should help the state catch up quite quickly,” says Fisher.
“Similar levies have had such an impact in other states that a large percentage of our waste management work comes from Victoria. It’s actually cheaper for them to transport waste up to us for disposal than dump it in Victorian landfills.
“Queensland will see many benefits come out of these policies. The levy will force businesses to look at alternative waste disposal processes, rather than simply dumping it into landfills.”
When announcing the plan last year, Premier Anna Bligh expressed concerns that Queensland was becoming a dumping ground for the rest of Australia.
“For too long, Queensland has been one of Australia’s biggest waste generators. Even worse, we’ve too often chosen landfill over recycling to deal with our mounting waste,” says Bligh.
“Furthermore, other mainland states not only have a waste levy but are actually increasing theirs, exposing Queensland as an even cheaper place for interstate companies to dump their waste.”
Using cutting-edge technical processes, BCD Technologies specialises in decontaminating hazardous waste material so it can be safely disposed or recycled.
As only one of two companies in Australia that can safely remove mercury from fluorescent lamps, Fisher says recycling the products ‘has become a hot topic’.
“Despite the very hazardous nature of mercury, dumping fluorescent lamps in landfills is still legal in Australia,” he says.
“Our sister company is pushing the NSW Government for legislation outlawing this and Queensland should look to do the same. But businesses in the electrical industry are catching on to the benefits of recycling waste products.
“The benefits of implementing these kinds of recycling practices, both in marketing and the environmental impacts, far outweigh any additional small business costs.”