Brisbane Innovate: Waste Economy
The Brisbane Innovate challenge: How might we create a new waste economy by unlocking waste as a resource, so that we can create jobs in new industries while reducing landfill and increasing markets for recycled materials?
Brisbane is a clean, green and sustainable city. Our approach to sustainable living resulted in Brisbane being named Australia's Most Sustainable City in 2014 and 2016 at the Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Sustainable Cities Awards. Key to maintaining our vision for a clean, green, sustainable city is our ability to reduce, re-use and recycle waste.
As the financial and environmental costs associated with traditional resource sectors increase, alternatives such as recycling and resource recovery become more efficient. Turning the traditionally linear production process into a renewable cycle not only delivers environmental benefits by keeping material out of landfill, but can also deliver significant benefits for our economy, potentially creating new job opportunities and scalable, exportable industries.
- For every one job involved in landfill, five are created by resource recovery
- 10 jobs could be created for every 10,000 tonnes of recycled materials
In Brisbane. Clean, Green, Sustainable 2017-2031 Council commits to supporting business to adopt innovative production and distribution systems that minimise waste and build strong markets to re-purpose waste into usable products. We are looking to businesses, academia and peak bodies from across industry, to understand their role in the supply chain and work together to address this challenge and unlock the value of waste.
Why should we create a new waste economy?
The circular economy is gaining support as there is growing recognition of its financial, environmental and social value.
Waste contains valuable, recoverable resources. Cooking oil can become biodiesel, restaurant scraps can mulch city parks and pre-loved clothes can be turned into insulation. The opportunities to unlock the value of waste at an industry level are immense, however it requires significant coordination and collaboration from all parts of the ‘whole-of-life’ supply chain – from product designers and manufacturers to waste management and recycling industries.
Australians have indicated an unprecedented level of support for industry being part of the solution in creating a high value waste economy. In a study conducted by the Crosby Textor Group, 87% support making it compulsory for recycled content to be used in all packaging.
Currently, in Brisbane:
- all recyclables (90,000 tonnes per annum), are sent to Brisbane’s recycling contractor. All paper, magazine, cardboard and cardboard packaging material is pulped and recycled directly onsite at their paper mill. Plastics, glass and metals are all sorted in bales and sent to local and overseas markets
- domestic green waste recycling (85,000 tonnes per annum) is processed in Yatala where it is composted and turned into a range of organic products, such as soil and compost.
Current Initiatives in Brisbane
A list of Council’s current initiatives and strategies around waste reduction are listed below.
- Brisbane. Clean, Green, Sustainable 2017-2031
- Rethink Your Rubbish
- Love Food Hate Waste
- Business Recycling
- Community Composting Hubs
- Resource Recovery Centres
- Household Hazardous Waste
- Kerbside large items collection
- Brisbane Bin and Recycling App
- Green Waste Recycling
- Cleaner Suburbs Awards
- Student Environmental Leadership Network
- Green Heart Homes and Community
- Green Heart Fair
Brisbane Innovate & the role of Mindhive
Brisbane Innovate is Council’s annual open innovation event, bringing together private industry, academia, local start-ups and the community to generate ideas to solve citywide challenges. This year’s challenges will focus on unlocking the value of waste, tackling social isolation and empowering local communities to create vibrant and proud neighbourhoods.
In 2018 we're using Mindhive to facilitate ongoing conversations between active-problem solvers, community members and the wider community of Mindhive to solve some of the city's wicked challenges.
What does success look like?
Following the summit event on 7 November, attendees will have an opportunity to refine their solutions and submit to Council. Council will then assess the solutions against the below criteria.
For a solution to be considered by Council, it should:
- directly address one of the three challenges identified
- not already exist
- involve at least two partners working together – for example industry, government or not-for-profit. All parties are to contribute in-kind support (i.e. no financial only partners)
- have long-term viability
- identify the role that Council plays using the Smart Connected Brisbane document:
- demonstrate alignment with one or more of the Smart Connected Brisbane characteristics
- have the ability to be scaled
- where possible use open data including datasets available at Council's Open Data website.
To complete a submission, you will need to provide the following information:
- contact details, solution name and challenge being solved
- how the solution meets the criteria (500 words)
- collaboration summary (500 words)
- how you will deliver the solution, including the timeframe (500 words)
- potential barriers to delivery and methods for overcoming them (500 words).
Challenge Opened: 12:38 AM, Monday 15 October 2018
Challenge Closes: 02:00 PM, Saturday 30 March 2019
Time to go: 129 days \ 19 hours \ 16 minutes