Major plans for waste management and resource recovery across Ipswich

22 June 2023

About $70 million has been provided for waste management and resource recovery in the Ipswich City Council 2023-2024 Budget, strongly reinforcing council’s green credentials.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the allocation was a record investment.

“Council’s wide range of initiatives aims to support a clean and green city, setting the stage for future infrastructure and services,” Mayor Harding said.

“While it can be frustrating to see the millions of dollars thrown into the legal process relating to external waste issues, there is immense satisfaction in seeing council focus on exceptional waste management and resource recovery to safeguard this city for decades to come.

"This council's fourth budget demonstrates our unwavering dedication to building a sustainable future for the City of Ipswich.

“We understand the importance of effective waste management and resource recovery in preserving our environment for generations to come.

“Through this significant investment, we aim to enhance our infrastructure, services, and overall quality of life for our residents."

Mayor Harding said funding committed in the budget includes $8 million to progress the shared Materials Recovery Facility in partnership with Logan and Redland City councils.

There is another $9 million for new and replacement waste collection vehicles (making 55 across the fleet, with more purchases to come), including $3.3 million for a dedicated FOGO (food organics, garden organics) fleet.

There will be $3.8 million worth of upgrades to the existing recycling and refuse centres at Rosewood and Riverview, with a further $1.2 million committed for planning and design of two new centres.

“Council has launched its city-wide Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan that outlines the best way to deliver fit-for-purpose resource recovery facilities in high-growth areas so it can meet the needs of the community, recover more resources, and reduce waste to landfill,” Mayor Harding said.

“This plan reinforces the need for future recycling and refuse centres in the Western and Southern regions to service growing population growth/demand.

“Council will engage with the community in the second half of 2023 regarding this infrastructure, via its Shape Your Ipswich platform, community information sessions and events. The community feedback will help council and consultants explore community needs before any final decisions are made.

“With the increasing capacity of new infrastructure to come online in future years, council will also explore, during the 2023-2024 period, a resident subsidy scheme such as tip vouchers.”

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said the investment in 2023-2024 goes beyond infrastructure improvements.

“Significant changes to the resource recovery service offering and future planning are also slated for this year. For the first time, council will invest approximately $1.52 million in an annual, on-demand large items collection service,” Cr Tully said.

“This service will transition from a once-every-two-years to an annual service, allowing residents to call and make a booking. The on-demand service will commence during the 2023-2024 year, ensuring convenient and efficient service provision, with increased resource recovery for the community.

As part of the city's commitment to sustainable waste management practices, Ipswich has announced the expansion of the Food Organic and Garden Organics (FOGO) service citywide in 2024-2025.

“In preparation for this rollout, we will invest significantly this year in new FOGO bins. This expansion will empower residents to contribute to the reduction of organic waste and promote environmentally friendly practices throughout the city.”

Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan said Ipswich is the first council in Queensland approved for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) in relation to its expanded recovery of organic material and subsequent diversion from landfill.

“Separate to the significant investment for waste management and resource recovery, council has allocated almost $14 million for emergency management and sustainability, natural environment, land management and resource recovery initiatives.

“There will be a focus on implementing the new Natural Environment Strategy, Enviroplan levy review and future focus on getting the most out of funding to council.

“Council's commitment to a green future, with high quality waste management and resource recovery, reflects its dedication to building a sustainable and environmentally conscious community.

“By investing in infrastructure, services, and future planning, the council aims to create a clean and green city for the benefit of all residents.”