Recycling and construction industry updates

Construction industry update for truck drivers and tradies, and recycling news in Queensland

Want to know what’s happening in the recycling and resource management industry right now? Or get a construction industry update so you know what’s coming up?

We’ve got our finger on the pulse – not just by keeping on top of the latest recycling news, but also by chatting to the hundreds of construction industry workers that come through our business every month to drop off concrete waste or pick up recycled products.

Here’s a quick round-up of what’s been going on over the last month or so and some trends to watch for.

New waste levy

First of all, possibly the biggest piece of recycling news at the moment is the new Queensland waste levy. You’ve probably already heard a lot about it, but just in case – here’s some key facts:

  • It starts from July 1, 2019
  • Councils will collect fees on behalf of the State Government
  • The fee is set to $75/tonne on general waste in landfill
  • It’ll only apply to commercial operators, not households
  • The goal is to “increase recycling and recovery activities, and boost economic and employment opportunities” in the waste management and resource recovery industries
  • It’ll discourage landfill disposal
  • As a result, we should see more recyclable materials processed and recovered

You can avoid the waste levy by taking recyclable materials (like concrete waste products) to resource recovery facilities like ours from July 1 onwards. This means you can minimise costs and do better for the environment.

Waste production is on the rise

A recent government report showed that Queensland’s waste dumping is outstripping population growth. And so, the government has set a target to increase the amount of recycled, reused, or repaired household rubbish from 31% today down to 80% by 2030.

The suggested solution in Queensland’s Draft Resource Recovery Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan is a more circular economy. That means more investment in technology and businesses that recover resources (including the construction and demolition industries). And more fees involved in adding to landfill (like the waste levy).

This circular economy was the topic of discussion at a recent in Griffith, too. It’s something you can expect to hear a lot more about in the future.

It makes sense. Let’s hope all this talk translates to action.

Construction slows down

We’ve seen the construction industry slow down over the last few months. As a result, we’ve had less concrete waste coming into our yard for recycling than usual. There are a lot of factors at play here, including:

  • The new waste levy
  • Banks tightening lending requirements
  • EOFY coming up
  • Federal elections
  • Public holidays during the first half of the year (fewer work days = slower construction)
  • Unfavourable weather

While construction is poised to pick up again in a year or so, it’s likely we’ll start to see renewed activity and confidence after EOFY, especially with lower interest rates.

2019 industry leaders forum

Waste’s 2019 industry leaders forum invited senior industry leaders to talk about their vision for the future management of waste in Australia. Highlights included:

  • The industry is calling for national specifications that mandate recycled content
  • They suggest procurement processes that mandate the use of locally-made recycled product
  • Support for continued investment in new technology and facilities
  • The need for local remanufacturing industry
  • The need for a national approach to waste and resource recovery
  • Less talk, more action

Let’s hope we see some action in this space soon!

Over to you

Have you noticed these industry trends? How have they been affecting your operations?

Head over to LinkedIn and connect with me there. Let me know what you think.

– Hilary Dold, General Manager

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