Until recently, Council has operated 5 landfills (Biggenden, Gayndah, Eidsvold, Monto, Mundubbera) and 1 transfer station (Mount Perry), with no fees imposed on customers using the facilities. Following a review of operational resources and costs of the landfills, a decision was made to transition Biggenden, Gayndah, Eidsvold, Monto and Mundubbera to waste transfer stations while also retaining the operational landfill at Mundubbera.
There is significant cost to operate the waste transfer stations and transport waste to the Mundubbera landfill for disposal. Council provides residents in the designated collection area with a weekly 240 litre waste collection service, with an annual fee levied on property rates to exclusively cover the cost of the collection contract. The collection costs levied via the property rates do not offset costs to operate the waste transfer station or the Mundubbera landfill.
Prior to amalgamation, Eidsvold, Gayndah and Monto Councils already included an Environmental Levy in the property rates notices. In 2008, following amalgamation, the Environmental Management Levy was introduced to all rateable properties in the North Burnett Regional Council area. The purpose of the Environmental Levy is to provide sufficient resources for the long-term rehabilitation, and legislated environmental compliance and monitoring of current and historic landfill sites. Historic landfill sites include Biggenden, Eidsvold, Gayndah, Mount Perry and Monto, along with a number of smaller dumps located in villages, such as Ideraway, Dallarnil etc. Revenue from this levy is not utilised for the operation of our current transfer stations or landfill site.
In early 2019, the Queensland Government announced the inclusion of North Burnett Regional Council in the Queensland State Government Waste Levy Zone. The Waste Levy Zone covers 39 out of Queensland’s 77 local government areas. The introduction of the waste levy provides a strategic framework to reduce the amount of waste Queenslanders generate, transition to a circular economy, grow the resource recovery and recycling industry, and create new jobs. From 1 July 2019, NBRC have been required to pay a levy to the Queensland Government on all waste disposed to landfill. Council has been the recipient of a subsidy from the state government for this levy, however, future forecasts see the Levy rate (per tonne) to increase over the coming years, with the potential for withdrawal of the subsidy.
A requirement of the waste levy is for each landfill to be equipped with a weighbridge to weigh all waste and report this annually to the Department of Environment and Science. The installation of weighbridges across all Council landfills would have imposed significant financial hardship on Council, which further supports the decision to transition some smaller landfills nearing capacity to waste transfer stations.
In April – May 2021, Council undertook a service delivery review and assessment of operations within the Waste section that highlighted the need for charges to be introduced at our waste facilities. When residents drop general waste at a local waste facility, Council is required to transport, compact and cover this waste at the Mundubbera Waste Facility. Green waste, steel and concrete are stockpiled onsite with regular stockpile maintenance, to keep the area clean and safe for customers. There are additional costs of processing this waste for repurposing. Recyclable initiatives such as cardboard, DrumMuster, batteries, waste oil and gas bottles have costs associated with the maintenance, transport and collection of these items.
From 1 October 2022, Council will introduce user pays fees at all waste facilities. These fees and charges are in place to assist with the operational costs associated with managing and handling waste. The user pays fees and charges being introduced do not fully offset the costs to operate the waste facilities.
Council have received funding from the Queensland Government for employment of a Waste Compliance Officer. This position will be responsible for ensuring waste compliance in accordance with legislative requirements and Council policies, procedures and standards. The aim of the Compliance Officer is to help achieve waste education outcomes for the North Burnett Regional Council and Queensland Department of Environment and Science Partnership Program, in relation to illegal dumping and littering. Fines will apply to littering and illegal dumping offences. Illegal dumping and littering has significant immediate and future impacts on our environment. It is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to a cleaner and greener future.
Information relating to Council Waste Fees and Charges, Opening Hours and Information can be found on Council’s website: North Burnett Regional Council – Waste Disposal and Recycling
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