The Torres Strait Regional Local Government Area consists of 15 remote communities, dispersed across 14 islands and 42,000 square kilometres of sea. This can make essential service provision, such as waste management extremely challenging, complex, and costly.
Torres Strait communities share the same challenges in achieving sustainability and circular economy objectives as mainland Australian communities, however, are further constrained by location, lack of space, resources and capacity. Implementing effective and sustainable waste management in the Torres Strait is exceedingly expensive in terms of capital, operational and maintenance costs.
Collaboration with Council and solution investment is urgently required to;
a. Address widespread legacy waste management issues, including management of historical landfills, stockpiling and environmental concerns.
b. Implement and operate complex, adaptable ongoing waste management solutions as identified in the Queensland Indigenous Waste Strategy and other planning exercises, including the identification of long term, cost-effective regional landfill solutions, treatment, logistics, recycling and disposal operations.
c. Reduce waste generation and landfill inputs by pursuing innovative and imaginative sustainability and circular economy initiatives, including in packaging and freight, local transport options, energy generation and material reuse.
- Council is actively engaged in strategy, development, both internally and through participation in the Queensland Indigenous Waste Strategy, aimed at identifying waste management solutions. Council is also committed to work towards the strategy’s 2050 targets to incorporate:
a. Reduction in household waste.
b. Waste recovery and not going to landfill.
c. Increase recycling rates across all waste types.
- Several communities have significant space restrictions, and therefore limited capacity for continued landfill operations, and are further impeded by legacy stockpiling issues with bulky items such as car bodies and whitegoods.
- Introduced business and contractor operations have, over time, introduced additional waste to local community output.