With such a push coming from youthful people all over the planet for better residential waste reduction, management and recycling is becoming a demanding topic for all councils.
For our local council, the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC), it's a hot topic that's currently being reviewed. Could it be possible for residents to know the full lifecycle of the contents of our kerbside rubbish bins?
Currently the TRC is using waste collection services for the recycle bin contents. It's commercially viable and there is great profit in rubbish! There are many hard to answer questions such as could it be possible for the council to take this over from a commercial business and how could a council achieve the economies of scale that would such a project viable?
This conversation with Cr Rebecca Vonhoff is frank and sincere about how hard all these questions are to answer.
Currently the TRC handles the green waste collection and the household waste collection. The green waste (garden waste items) becomes mulch for local residents and the council parks. Unfortunately, the household waste becomes landfill.
Alongside the many questions about sustainable waste management there are also many questions about how the current landfill situations could be turned into energy - could it be possible to turn waste into energy? For many, many years food waste has been included in household waste that has gone to landfill and while it can't be recycled the TRC is exploring how it can be turned into energy by harnessing the gas that is emitted from these landfill sites.
Other topics discussed in this episode include
-types of waste that are difficult to manage such as mattresses, electronic waste, styrofoam and products made from different recyclable components
-waste education programs in schools and on the side of waste collection trucks
-the motivation at the household level for recycling of paper, cardboard, plastics and glass materials.