Investigation raises recycling questions

LOCAL BUSINESS: Solo Resource Centre at Chinderah.
LOCAL BUSINESS: Solo Resource Centre at Chinderah. Scott Powick

TWEED Shire Council has moved to clarify its recyclable waste is indeed recycled and going to a NSW material recovery facility that provides regular assurances the material has not been turned to landfill.

An ABC Four Corners investigation this week revealed transport companies were sending large amounts of unregulated waste to Queensland to end up as landfill.

Council's waste management coordinator Rod Dawson said its contractor, Chinderah-based Solo Recovery, was required to report quarterly on the amount of recyclables received and where each type of recyclable was on-sent after processing.

With Solo's contract starting on July 1 no report was yet available.

After enquiries this week, Mr Dawson said the council was assured glass was recycled, after it was exported to a different contractor in Brisbane.

"We received reassurances it's been recycled for beneficial re-use,” Mr Dawson said.

"We're going to keep our finger on the pulse and make sure it's true.”

The council is investigating alternative options of sending the Shire's glass to Lismore to be crushed and used for sand products in the future.

In regards to the shire's landfill waste, Mr Dawson said it was taken to South East Queensland in accordance with NSW legislation. "The Ipswich facility is within 150km of the Tweed and therefore compliant the Proximity Principle put in place under NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Legislation,” he said.

"Given our close proximity to the border, the disposal of waste in Queensland is our most cost-effective option.”

Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a crackdown on heavy vehicle inspections would start this week, with inspectors to target truck drivers on the NSW-Queensland border.

"This issue needs to be addressed with co-operation of the states,” she said.

"That is why the new cross border agreement between NSW and Queensland included co-operation on waste management.”

Solo was approached for comment.

Topics:  tweed shire council

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