5.5 Keeping Brisbane clean, recycling waste and breathing clean air

Table of contents

1. Pedestrian mobility and transport

1.1 Walking, wheeling and driving safely around Brisbane

1.2 Catching public transport

2. Planning, development and infrastructure

2.1 Being actively engaged in planning an accessible city

2.2 Enjoying a well-designed built environment

2.3 Appreciating the benefits of civic infrastructure

3. Public buildings, venues and outdoor spaces

3.1 Public buildings that make you feel welcome

3.2 People friendly public spaces

3.3 Local meeting places where you can connect with your community

3.4 Parks and natural areas where you enjoy the great outdoors

4.Vibrant, informed and caring communities

4.1 Experiencing the support of inclusive, safe and diverse communities

4.2 Enjoying Brisbane's vibrant arts and culture scene

4.3 Staying active and healthy

4.4 Using libraries for lifelong learning

4.5 Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle

5. Your Council, working with you

5.1 Being an active citizen in an inclusive democracy

5.2 Having a say on the work we do that matters to you

5.3 Communicating and doing business with us

5.4 Understanding how local laws, rules and procedures relate to you

5.5 Keeping Brisbane clean, recycling waste and breathing clean air

5.6 Working in a disability confident organisation

5.7 Knowing your rates are paying for accessible services

As Australia's largest local government authority, Council faces a continual challenge to sustainably manage the waste of a large and growing city. Our Living in Brisbane 2026 vision is to set the city on a course Towards Zero Waste.

Council has given high priority to implementing the sustainable policies and actions needed to achieve this vision. We have made commitments to:

encourage the community to change their current purchasing practices to reduce waste generation

promote reuse as a waste prevention opportunity

improve our collection and sorting processes for recyclable items to ensure we provide quality products for manufacturers to use

work with industry sectors to build strong markets to process waste resources into useable end products

promote industries that produce quality re-useable products

continue providing and promoting our successful kerbside recycling program to residents

enhance recycling opportunities away from home to ensure that our residents and visitors to Brisbane can ‘recycle at work, school and play, just like it's done at home'. [20]

Council also has a key role in Environmental Licensing and Compliance, preventing impacts on the community and the environment posed by pollution and dangerous goods by implementing risk-based licensing of industry, targeted industry environmental improvement programs, investigation of complaints and incidents, and enforcement and prosecution of offences.

Where we are

We recognise that to achieve our vision we need all of Brisbane's citizens and visitors to work with us in their everyday lives, a people's movement committed to keeping the city clean, recycling waste and preventing pollution:

  • we work hard to keep the streets of Brisbane, and the central business district (CBD) in particular, clean and free of litter which can cause tripping hazards
  • 57% of the litter we find on the ground in the CBD is discarded chewing gum which can create havoc for people in mobility devices and users of white canes. We are particularly careful to monitor the state of our Braille trail and tactile ground surface indicators and keep them clean of chewing gum
  • we install rubbish and recycling bins on the kerbside of the footpath to keep the footpath along the building frontage free of clutter which helps pedestrian flows generally but is particularly important for people with low vision who practise ‘shorelining' (i.e. following the walls) as a key strategy to find their way
  • if a resident has a physical disability and cannot manage to put the residential waste, recycling and green waste wheelie bins out for collection, Council will instruct its waste contractor to enter the property and collect the bin

We recognise that more people die each year from pollution related illnesses than from car accidents. Air pollution affects our health, particularly in children, older people and those with allergic and respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, lung damage and emphysema. Brisbane has clean air compared to many major cities and air pollution levels generally meet national standards. However, Brisbane has Australia's highest potential for smog due to the regional topography, climate and high population growth. We recognise that clean air is particularly important for people with breathing difficulties and work hard to reduce air pollution under our Brisbane Air Quality Strategy.

Where we want to be

We want all residents and visitors to work with us to keep Brisbane clean, reduce our waste and prevent air pollution.

Our objectives

  1. Seek feedback on the barriers that may make it hard for people to prevent waste, to think of waste as a resource, and to reuse and recycle.
  2. Enlist people who are most impacted by air pollution and litter to raise community and industry awareness of the impacts.

Existing actions that will continue

Residential rubbish bin collection

We will continue to provide a free in-home bin collection service for residents with a disability who are unable to put their own wheelie bins out.

Street cleaning

We will continue to keep our footpaths clean and litter free, particularly in busy public areas like the CBD and Valley Malls.

Graffiti removal

Council will support people who are unable to remove graffiti from their properties by sending in our graffiti removal teams.

Clean air strategy

We will continue to minimise the release of harmful pollutants to the air and the impact of pollution on people.

New initiatives or extensions

  1. Identifying barriers to waste minimisation. We will partner with diverse community groups and networks to seek feedback on the barriers that make it hard for people to reduce, reuse and recycle.
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Last updated:30 April 2019