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:

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Our Targets

In order to achieve our goal of Zero Waste, Council has set a number of targets which align with the Queensland Waste Avoidance and Resource Productivity Strategy 2014-2024.

Council's goals are:

  • reduce waste disposal to landfill by 25% by 2014
  • increase recycling of municipal solid waste by 50% by 2014
  • increase recycling of commercial and industrial waste by 40% by 2014
  • reduce generation of waste by 15% by 2020

Council was able to achieve the following Toward Zero Waste strategy progress in 2013-14:

  • 91,413 tonnes of material, which is equivalent to 183 Olympic-sized swimming pools, was recycled by Council 
  • 10,332 green waste bins were ordered by residents
  • 40,583 residents visited Brisbane's tip shops, where 301 tonnes of unwanted household items were sold
  • 490 new public place recycling bins have been installed across Brisbane since 2008, diverting 294 tonnes of recycling waste from landfill in 2013-14
  • 4743 students and 306 residents took part in the Rethink Your Rubbish schools program
  • 250 residents attended free compost and worm farm workshops
  • 4839 tonnes of e-waste was collected and sent for recycling or reuse between 2006 and 2014
  • 137 litter-proof tree grates were installed across the city
  • 50% less litter was counted in the CBD in 2013-14, when compared to 2009 figures
  • 33,545 MWh of green energy was produced at Council's Rochedale Landfill, which abates 146,043 tonnes of carbon dioxide
  • 130MWh of renewable solar energy was provided by Willawong and Ferny Grove transfer stations
27 April 2015