Category Archives: Waste and recycling

Devices offer ‘grate’ way to trap waterway waste

They are known as SQIDs and over the past two years these Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices have prevented more than 500 cubic metres of Redlands Coast waste ending up in Moreton Bay.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the SQIDs were designed to stop vegetation, sediments, litter and other materials entering the city’s waterways and ultimately into the bay.

“We have a network of about 740 SQIDs whose tentacles spread all across Redlands Coast,” Cr Williams said.

Urban Asset Solutions work across the Redlands Coast maintaining and monitoring the waterway waste devices.

“In 2019 about 280 cubic metres of waste, and a further 228 cubic metres in 2020, was recovered from the devices by Council contractor, Urban Asset Solutions, which monitors and maintains the SQIDs.”

Cr Williams said the devices took several formats, including trash racks which are steel grates with netting that sit across open channels to collect large waste like bottles, takeaway cups and green waste.

“There are 80 of these trash racks across the city,” Cr Williams said.

“There are another 320 litter baskets in use that are generally installed in stormwater pits and more than 70 gross pollutant traps, or GPTs, that are installed throughout the drainage network.

“SQIDs also come in the form of bio-retention basins and swales of which there are more than 100 on Redlands Coast including a brand new basin that has been constructed alongside Birkdale Recycling and Waste Centre.

“The bio-retention basin at Birkdale will improve the quality of stormwater runoff from the waste centre.”

Urban Asset Solutions’ scope of works consists of general system monitoring, reporting and maintenance services including repairing erosion, unblocking  inlets and outlets, removing litter and debris, managing and controlling weeds, planting, reporting on rectification works and undertaking scheduled GPT cleans by vacuum or crane truck methods to ensure  all managed assets are performing to their intended specification, are safe and aesthetically pleasing.

Cr Williams said the company had a regional office in Cleveland that employed four people fulltime.

“It is just one of many local businesses and suppliers used by Council,” she said.

“Council is focused more on spending local as part of our corporate procurement policy, contract manual and strategic contracting plan and procedures adopted in July last year.

“Wherever possible we will be using local businesses and suppliers to continue our support of the local economy and to keep people in jobs and create new employment opportunities.”

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276,000kg of paint and packaging diverted from landfill

Redland Coast residents and tradies have diverted 276,592kg of paint and packaging from landfill over the past three years.

Mayor Karen Williams said Redland City Council had worked with the Paintback Scheme since its inception in July 2018 to divert unwanted paint products through the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre.

Redland City mayor Karen Williams, centre, at the Paintback facility at the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre with operations officer Emma Georget, left, and transfer attendant Kerri Watton, right.

“In our continuous journey towards a circular economy, it is important that Council seeks out innovative partnerships to dispose of all sorts of waste, so that, where possible, it goes on to have another life,” Cr Williams said.

“Paintback is one such partnership, keeping toxic materials out of drains and kerbside collection bins – and ultimately waterways and landfill – with its collection site at Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre.

“I encourage residents and commercial operators to continue to bring paint that can’t be reused into Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre to give it a second life.”

Deputy Mayor and Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty said that while it cost nothing to drop off up to 100 litres of unwanted paint per visit, the paint did need to be secured in containers of 20 litres or less.

“From Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre, the unwanted paint is transported for treatment and repurposing,” she said.

“Currently, it’s being turned into an alternative fuel source replacing coal or having the water extracted and used by other industries, reducing the need to use mains water.

“I understand Paintback is funding research into how it can improve the recovery of paint and pails to reduce demand on virgin resources.”

A resident uses the Paintback facility at the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre.

The following items are accepted:

  • Interior and exterior paint (including architectural paint) – water and solvent based
  • Deck coatings
  • Floor paints
  • Primers
  • Undercoats
  • Sealers
  • Stains
  • Shellacs
  • Varnishes
  • Urethanes
  • Wood coatings (containing no pesticides).
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Combined approach seeks regional waste solution

Three South East Queensland councils are united in a bid to apply for funding to help the business case for a new local recycling and waste recovery facility.

Logan City Council, Ipswich City Council and Redland City Council have formed the SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance which represents more than 700,000 residents.

They have now lodged a joint funding application for a regional Material Recovery Facility (MRF) through the Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund (QRMF), which has up to $40 million to invest in recycling solutions across the state.

A site for the new facility is yet to be determined, but if funding is secured, it is hoped it will be operational within three years.

It would recycle waste from all three councils.

Mayors from the three councils within the Alliance said the joint MRF project could stimulate investment, create jobs and help develop a sustainable local circular economy.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said a combined approach to recycling would help all councils in the Alliance deliver on the Queensland Government’s waste diversion targets.

“We have a shared goal within this Alliance to build a Material Recovery Facility and create a new, collaborative approach to recycling and waste management that will bring numerous benefits to our communities,” Cr Harding said.

“We need the Queensland and Australian governments to support the Alliance in delivering this important project for the SEQ region, the state and the nation.”

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power said partnering with other councils makes sense economically and environmentally.

“I know our community wants a cleaner, greener environment and we are delighted to be working with neighbouring councils to explore new and more efficient ways to recycle,” Cr Power said.

“This is a great opportunity for the other levels of government to support us through the QRMF to achieve positive outcomes for all three communities.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council recognises the importance of waste infrastructure in the improvement of waste management on Redlands Coast.

“In planning for the future, we need to ensure economies of scale by collaborating with others and planning for the right infrastructure and services at the right time,” Cr Williams said.

“We now have the opportunity to work with other South East Queensland councils to explore opportunities for shared resource recovery infrastructure and programs and I look forward to positive waste management outcomes for our communities.”

The SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance was formed after a 2019 Expression of Interest (EOI) campaign seeking partners to help find innovative and efficient methods of waste disposal and resource recovery.

The worldwide EOI campaign was in response to significant changes in waste management in recent years.

The changes include tough new restrictions on sending items collected from yellow-lid bins to be recycled overseas.

In June this year, the SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance agreed to develop a business case for a new MRF in the region and to seek funding support from other levels of government.

If sufficient funding is secured, the facility would be designed, constructed and operated by an experienced contractor selected through a tender process.

The proposal is the only MRF project involving three councils in South East Queensland.

The QRMF is a co-contribution fund between the Australian and Queensland Governments with each investing $20 million. Any funding granted must be matched dollar for dollar by the successful applicant.

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Residents urged to sort their recyclables correctly

Redlands Coast residents are being urged to keep an eye on what they throw out and where they put it.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said approximately 16 per cent of the household general waste collected each week is made up of materials that could have been recycled.

“Redlands Coast generates 42,369 tonnes of general waste annually from kerbside wheelie bin collections. Some 6,779 tonnes, or approximately 16 per cent of that, is made up of recyclable materials that are unnecessarily going into landfill,” Cr Williams said.

“That’s equivalent to 917 extra waste trucks or 1.8 Olympic size swimming pools of recyclable material going literally to waste.

“When you think about what should go in your recycling bin, think about newspaper, paper, cardboard, glass jars and bottles, tin cans, and hard plastic items such as milk bottles, fruit punnets and takeaway containers.

“When clean and emptied, these items can all be recycled by placing them in the yellow-lid recycling bins.

“So let’s all watch our waste lines and be the sort of people who sort correctly.”

The breakdown of the 16 per cent of wasted weekly recyclables includes: paper/cardboard 9.6 per cent; hard plastics 3.39 per cent; metals 1.32 per cent; and glass 1.01 per cent.

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Bio-retention basin improves stormwater quality from recycling and waste centre

A new bio-retention basin has been constructed alongside Birkdale Recycling and Waste Centre to improve the quality of stormwater discharged into nearby waterways.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said as well as the environmental benefits, the basin would also reduce maintenance and operational costs associated with managing stormwater and stormwater infrastructure.

“The construction of the bio-retention basin is part of a wider scope of works at the site following the remediation of the landfill in 2017, and construction of the asphalt hardstand for stockpiled materials in 2020.

“Stormwater runoff from the Recycling and Waste Centre has the potential to cause water contamination or environmental harm in the areas where it is discharged, namely Tarradarrapin Creek which in turn flows into Waterloo Bay.

“However, the water treated through the bio-retention basin will be of a higher quality than previously managed through the stormwater pond it is replacing.”

Playing a pivotal role in that improved water quality are almost 3000 native grasses and plants which cover about 425 sq m of the basin.

Native grasses and plants will play an integral role in the new bio-retention basin alongside Birkdale Recycling and Waste Centre.

“The stormwater quality onsite improved significantly following the completion of the asphalt hardstand,” Cr Williams said.

“Now the bio-retention basin is complete, the stormwater will meet quality standards without the requirement for treatment before being discharged, as any sediment or nutrients in the stormwater will be filtered by the plant and filtration media (a combination of soil, sand and gravel).”

Cr Williams said Council saved time and a lot of money on the basin’s construction by using a new product to transform a large amount of silt and contaminated sludge at the bottom of the previous stormwater pond.

“This innovative mud stabilisation product transformed the sludge into a usable material which was then incorporated with other materials to construct the bio-retention basin,” she said.

“The use of this product saved more than $275,000 and reduced construction time by three weeks, achieving a great environmental and financial outcome for the city.”

Division 8 Councillor Tracey Huges said the bio-retention basin met the expectations and compliance standards set by the Department of Environment and Science and modern environmental standards required for an operating waste facility.

“Last year Council resurfaced the gravel area on top of the hill with an innovative bitumen seal that used recycled tyres,” Cr Huges said.

“Earlier this year Council repaired a stormwater drain which had been damaged following heavy rain.

“Now, with the completion of the bio-retention basin on the western perimeter of the Birkdale Recycling and Waste Centre, Council has ensured there is modern and best practice stormwater management infrastructure in place to capture any fine particles or sediment generated through operations onsite.”

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Take your disposable face masks to IndigiScapes for recycling

Redlands IndigiScapes Centre has extended its specialist recycling station to trial a TerraCycle Face Mask Zero Waste Box to recycle single-use face masks on behalf of the Redlands Coast community.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the move came after concerns were raised about the additional litter and burden on landfill resulting from all the disposable masks being worn throughout the pandemic.

“The fact that disposable face masks are not accepted in our kerbside recycling hasn’t presented a problem before, but we find ourselves in changing times,” Cr Williams said.

“As Council’s environmental education hub, IndigiScapes, already houses a recycling station for items such as CDs, VHS, toothbrushes and toothpaste and x-rays; it is the ideal location to trial mask disposal as well.

“Now residents can drop all types of single-use face masks in the TerraCycle box at the Centre, which provides a sustainable and convenient disposal solution.

“When full, the box will be returned to TerraCycle, where the waste will be quarantined for at least three months.

“The contents of the box will then be manually sorted and shredded. The metal from the nose clips is smelted and the plastic is melted down into low-grade plastic pellets. The recycled pellet material is then used by third parties to manufacture a variety of new products including outdoor furniture, park benches and decking.”

Councillor for Division 7 Rowanne McKenzie said that Council encouraged everyone to follow the Queensland Health guidelines on safe disposals of masks.

“Whilst the box is lined with a plastic bag so no one can come into contact with the waste, Queensland Health guidelines require face masks to be placed in a sealed bag prior to disposal,” she said.

“Only non-woven disposable plastic-based face masks can be placed in the mask disposal box at IndigiScapes, including 3-ply surgical, dust masks, KN95, and N95 masks.

“Do not bring in cloth masks or other types of protective gear like gloves, hair nets, or lab coats and garments.

“The mask disposal box is situated in the foyer of IndigiScapes and accessible during the centre’s opening hours, 8am-4pm, seven days per week.

“Why not visit the native nursery, wander through the native botanic gardens, go for a bushwalk or drop into the café while you’re there.

“It’s a naturally wonderful experience.”

Redlands IndigiScapes Centre is located at 17 Runnymede Road, Capalaba.

Visit for more information about waste and recycling and to find out what IndigiScapes has to offer.

To learn more about TerraCycle and its programs visit

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Council urges residents to try to avoid Recycling and Waste Centres during lockdown

Do you really need to go to the tip this week? Redland City Council is urging residents not to go to its Recycling and Waste Centres unless it really is essential.

While all Recycling and Waste Centres remain open for disposal of commercial and household waste, now is not the time for residents to do a general clean up.

If you must visit the facilities for essential waste disposal, physical distancing and safety requirements apply to help keep our community safe and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The average tip run is likely to take longer than usual, so expect delays and please be patient.

These safety measures will be enforced at Recycling and Waste Centres:
• Masks are mandatory.
• QR code check-in is required.
• Vehicle restrictions on entry apply.
• Visitors must keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other visitors and staff.
• No more than one car is allowed per bin bay with limited vehicles permitted in each stockpile area.
• Payment via EFT or account only. No cash payments.

RecycleWorld at Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre will remain closed for the duration of the lockdown.

Here are some ideas to help residents avoid the tip during lockdown:

  • Household kerbside wheelie bin collections of general waste, green waste and recycling will continue unaffected so make full use of these services. Order a green waste bin if you don’t already have one.
  • Consider what waste you are generating and perhaps delay those projects.
  • Set up a separate recycling station in your home to keep the right things inside the yellow-lid bin – only paper, cardboard, aluminium/steel & hard plastic containers and glass bottles and jars.
  • Start composting food scraps to make room in your red-lid waste bin. The up-side is free compost for your garden.
  • Get creative and turn that ‘junk’ into your next up-cycle project. What you thought was rubbish could turn into a new hobby.
  • Find a place to store excess to delay your tip trip.

Check Council’s website for Recycling and Wastes Centre opening hours.

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Keep hazardous waste out of wheelie bins

Earlier this month an emergency was averted by the swift actions of a truck driver undertaking kerbside waste collection on behalf of Redland City Council.

Redland City Mayor praised the JJ Richards employee who noticed his load had caught on fire and jettisoned it in the parking area next to Sel Outridge Park in Redland Bay.

A load had to be quickly jettisoned at Sel Outridge Park, Redland Bay, when it caught on fire during kerbside collection. Luckily the driver was unharmed and the mess was fully cleaned up once the fire was extinguished.

“These types of incidents are being increasingly reported by Council’s kerbside waste collection contractor, JJ Richards, with a ‘hot load’ last year burning right through the metal skin of a truck,” Cr Williams said.

“Hot loads are frequently the result of the wrong type of waste, most notably hazardous waste, being placed in household wheelie bins by residents.”

Cr Williams said there were good reasons for restrictions on what could be put in wheelie bins.

“Hazardous waste can catch on fire while being unwittingly transported in waste collection trucks, causing extensive damage to the vehicle and endangering the safety of the driver and potentially other road users,” she said.

“We’re appealing to residents to keep dangerous materials out of wheelie bins. That includes anything marked as toxic, hazardous, flammable or requiring caution.

“Household batteries and gas bottles are two of the worst culprits.

“In addition to the immediate dangers during transportation, hazardous waste can harm people and our environment when it ends up in our landfill and recycling centres.

“That’s why we’re urging everyone to take their hazardous waste to the appropriate drop-off points.”

Where to take hazardous waste

Council facilities

Gas bottles, car batteries, waste oil and asbestos can the taken to Council’s staffed Recycling and Waste Centre at Redland Bay, Birkdale, Coochiemudlo Island, Macleay Island, Russell Island and North Stradbroke Island.

Residents can safely dispose of an extensive range of hazardous waste at our Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre, including:

  • Acids and alkalis
  • Chemical containers
  • Coolants and brake fluids
  • Engine oil
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Gas bottles, including butane cans
  • Glue and solvents
  • Herbicides
  • Household chemicals
  • Lubricant grease
  • Mercury-containing lamps (unbroken only)
    • Examples are compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and fluorescent tubes
    • Broken lamps should be carefully sealed in a plastic bag and put in a waste wheelie bin
  • Pesticides
  • Petrol
  • Pool chemicals
  • Rust inhibitors
  • Smoke alarms/detectors
  • Thinners
  • Wood preservatives
  • Vehicle batteries

Visit Council’s website for more information on conditions and safe disposal of hazardous waste.

Other facilities

Council does not take all hazardous waste, some requiring other specialist disposal.

Flares and EPIRBS can be disposed of at three different locations. Check the Maritime Safety Website.

Household batteries can be taken to community drop off points.


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Putting a lid on household recycling contamination

“Keep it loose and clean. Don’t bag your recycling.”

These are the simple takeaways Redland City Mayor Karen Williams is urging residents to remember as part of a Council campaign to crush a worrying rise in recycling contamination.

“Just five types of materials can be recycled kerbside – paper, cardboard, glass jars and bottles, aluminium and steel cans and firm plastic containers and bottles,” Cr Williams said.

“But we are seeing a lot of other items in yellow-top bins, items that contaminate the load and waste our good efforts.

“The average rate for recycling contamination on the Redlands Coast had been going up since 2018, from 8 per cent to 11 per cent last year, and tracking at a disturbing average of 12.4 per cent in 2021.

Cr Williams said while she applauded residents for their enthusiastic recycling, meeting recycling targets meant more than shifting items from our general waste wheelie bin to the household recycling or green waste bin.

“The right materials need to go in the right bins,” she said.

“When a yellow-top wheelie bin has too much non-recyclable material – or contamination – it decreases the quality of recyclable materials and makes it harder for the good quality products to be extracted in the sorting equipment.

“As well as being a waste of renewable resources, this has the potential to increase Council’s, and therefore ratepayers’, waste management costs as the contaminated recycling may have to be taken to landfill.

“Household recycling is a commercial activity that Council pays for and when the quality decreases the processing costs increase.

“We do not want to reach the point where excess contamination costs may need to be passed on to ratepayers.

“That’s why we’re appealing to residents to not only recycle, but recycle right.”

Cr Williams said getting recycling right was not always easy but was something the council and community needed to work on together.

“With hundreds of recycling labels out there, it can be confusing and even recycling gurus can get it wrong,” she said.

“But the good news is that Australia and New Zealand have rolled out a new labelling information system for food packaging, called the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), which, hopefully, will end this confusion.

“Planet Ark has run a “Check it! Before You Chuck It national campaign to raise awareness about the new labels, which it says provides easy-to-understand recycling information when you need it most.”

Cr Williams urged residents to check the labels and learn more about what items are okay to put in the yellow bins.

“If you’re unsure about an item, check Council’s online A-Z of waste recycling .”


The main offenders:

  • Bagged items – residents should not place recycling into a kitchen tidy bag or garbage bag or place general waste in the recycling bin
  • Soft plastics items such as bread bags, cereal box liners, pasta packets, chip packets, frozen veggie packets etc can only be recycled if taken to a specialised recycling collection point, such as the ones available in major supermarkets.
  • Soft plastics cannot be processed through Council’s recycling facility and therefore cannot be placed in kerbside recycling.
  • Bubble wrap
  • Food scraps – including excess food in containers. Containers do not need to be fully rinsed before being placed in your recycling bin.
  • Clothing / materials
  • Polystyrene
  • Plastic toys.


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Council pilots smart solar compacting bins in popular reserve

Redland City Council has installed 10 smart solar compacting bins at Wellington Point Recreation Reserve as part of a three-year pilot project.

Mayor Karen Williams said the project aimed to reduce the number of litter bin collections, costs and environmental impacts.

“Wellington Point Recreation Reserve has been chosen for this pilot project as it has significantly more bins and litter collections than other Redlands Coast parks,” she said.

“The reserve has about five times the number of litter collections of comparable destination parks, which represents about 13 per cent of the total public litter bin collections across Redlands Coast.

“As part of the pilot project, all bins in the reserve have been removed and replaced with ten 240-litre smart solar compacting bins, which can compact up to eight times the standard bin volume.

“Council will be able to collect valuable data on bin usage and fullness, allowing us to reduce collections from more than 160 to 20 each week and leading to an approximate annual saving of about $28,000.

“Ongoing monitoring and analysis during the pilot will allow us to consider further savings and possible implementation in comparable civic and open spaces.

“Reduced collection requirements may particularly benefit key island locations such as Point Lookout on North Stradbroke (Minjerribah) and on Coochiemudlo Island.”

New smart solar compacting bins have been installed in Wellington Point Recreation Reserve.

Cr Williams said the bins would also include poster panels so Council could provide education around better waste and recycling habits.

“Redlands Coast residents care about our wildlife and our natural environment and we want to help them reduce waste and keep our parks and oceans free from rubbish.

“The majority of the waste going in Council bins is excess packaging from takeaway food and Council would like to work with businesses to reduce this.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said the solar compacting bins provided an exciting opportunity to reduce visual impacts and improve general amenity at the reserve.

“Due to their increased capacity and ability to issue fullness alerts, these bins should significantly reduce any issues of overflowing bins within the reserve,” Cr Boglary said.

“The project also means the litter bin footprint is reduced by 67 per cent, improving the visual amenity of the reserve.

“This means there will be more open space for residents and visitors to enjoy in this popular naturally wonderful park.”

Cr Williams said the pilot project followed the trial of a smart compacting bin in Bloomfield Street Park, Cleveland in 2019.

“The Cleveland trial saw a reduction in the number of weekly collections from five to two,” she said.

“Council decided not to roll this bin model out further, mainly due to its smaller capacity. This initial compacting bin is planned to be relocated to Cleveland Point Recreation Reserve.”

The $95,000 pilot project has been funded through Council’s Transformation Portfolio Fund, and is expected to be recouped in about three years.

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