Towards Zero Waste

Zero Waste is a goal, a process, a way of thinking that profoundly changes our approach to resources and production. Not only is Zero Waste about recycling and diverting materials from landfills, but it is also about restructuring production and distribution systems to prevent waste from being produced in the first place.

Zero Waste ensures that resources already in existence are used to their maximum potential, avoiding the exploitation of untapped resources, while also providing economic and environmental efficiencies throughout the chain of production.

However, achieving Zero Waste requires a significant behavioural shift within the community. Our current ‘disposable’ mindset will need to embrace the notion of waste minimisation, beneficial reuse, and resource recovery. Without these changes, a large portion of Brisbane’s wealth will continue to be spent on addressing escalating waste management issues.

Residents will need to buy ‘greener’, while industry will need to design and manufacture ‘cleaner’. Where waste generation can not be avoided, it will be recovered as a resource for reuse or recycling.

By taking these steps, our reliance on landfill will progressively lessen, and we will become a ‘sustainable’ city – where there will be enough for all, forever.

Download Brisbane City Council’s Towards Zero Waste strategy document:

The Queensland Government's waste and recycling strategy (Queensland Waste Avoidance and Resource Productivity Strategy 2014-2024) provides a high level vision and direction for Queensland over the next 10 years.

Council was able to achieve the following Toward Zero Waste strategy progress in 2015-16:

  • 89,645 tonnes of material, which is equivalent to 310 Olympic-sized swimming pools, was recycled by Council 
  • 7141 green waste bins were ordered by residents
  • 49,704 residents visited Brisbane's tip shops, where 521 tonnes of unwanted household items were sold
  • 86 new public place recycling bins were installed, bringing the total number to 701
  • more than 5300 students and 607 residents took part in the Rethink Your Rubbish program
  • 432 residents attended free compost and worm farm workshops
  • the total amount of e-waste diverted for recycling reached 6421 tonnes in July 2016 - the sum of 10 years of e-waste collection from 2006-16
  • 67 litter-proof tree grates were installed across the city
  • 32,998 mega-watt hours of green energy was produced at Council's Rochedale Landfill, which abated 161,260 tonnes of carbon dioxide
  • 128.8 mega-watt hours of renewable solar energy was provided by Willawong and Ferny Grove transfer stations.
05 January 2017