Earlier this month, Ipswich City Council stated that the cost of its recycling program was no longer feasible and it was dropping the program. During its waste crisis, an inquiry found that the contents of Ipswich’s yellow lidded recycling bins had been going to landfill for six weeks and counting. The decision ignited strong public backlash and Council now plans to reverse its decision to send recycling to landfill.
This still leaves Ipswich with a major problem. Following China’s ban on waste imports, the cost of recycling is skyrocketing – an issue which is compounded in Ipswich where more than 50% of recycling waste is contaminated (by comparison Brisbane City has a recycling waste contamination rate of less than 10%). Recycling loads with more than 25% contamination won’t be accepted and must go to landfill. If Ipswich city Council and residents can’t work together to get contamination levels under control, waste will continue to be rejected and sent to landfill.