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Priority wastes

The Queensland Waste Avoidance and Resource Productivity Strategy (2014–2024) (PDF, 8.4M) identifies a range of problem wastes for action. Action plans to be developed under the strategy will address how to improve the management of these priority wastes and products.

Under Queensland’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011, priority wastes are those with high disposal impacts (such as toxicity or greenhouse gas emissions), social impacts (such as community concern or amenity), or whose recovery would present resource savings or business opportunities.

Priority products and wastes can be divided into two categories:

  • those that have national importance and for which Queensland can investigate measures to support action already underway
  • those that are of state significance.

Queensland's priority wastes

The following have been identified in the strategy as priority wastes for Queensland:

Priority waste stream Example

Plastic waste

Organic waste


  • Green waste
  • Food waste

Commercial premises:

  • Hospitality
  • Food processing

High volume wastes

  • Concrete
  • Treated timber
  • Plasterboard
  • Batteries

Regional impact waste

  • Mining and resources development
  • Mattresses
  • Orphan agricultural and veterinary chemicals

Complementary national product stewardship measures

  • Fluorescent lights
  • Used tyres
  • Used oil
  • Televisions and computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Agvet chemical containers

Acting on priority wastes

Plastic bags and drink containers

The Queensland Government is committed to preserving the health of the environment so generations to come can enjoy the beauty of our natural surroundings. The build-up of plastic pollution in coastal waterways is of significant concern because of the detrimental effects it has on the marine environment.

The Queensland Government’s state-based ban on single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, and Container Refund Scheme, will commence on 1 July 2018.

Emergency and exit lighting battery trial

The department is funding a pilot program for recycling emergency and exit lighting batteries. The pilot program, EXITCYCLE, will investigate the collection, recycling and safe disposal of emergency and exit lighting batteries from participating businesses. It will run in Queensland for 12 months with an aim to migrate the pilot scheme to a fully-fledged national voluntary recycling program.

Power tool battery recycling pilot

The department is funding the pilot program for the recycling of power tool batteriesPower Tool Batteryback, an initiative of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI). From 6 September 2015 until 30 June 2016 any power tool battery type or brand, weighing less than 500 grams can be returned—free of charge—to participating outlets in the Brisbane City Council area.

Fluorescent lights

The department is a signatory to the FluoroCycle scheme, a voluntary national product stewardship scheme for mercury-containing lamps. This commitment as a scheme facilitator allows the department to lead by example and work in partnership with industry, a key approach of the industry-led waste strategy.

Last updated
17 February 2017