PVC recycling scheme combats construction waste in QLD

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
3 Min Read

A recently announced expansion of Queensland’s Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme aims to cut down on PVC waste littering work sites.  

Environment Minister Leanne Linard revealed a $150,000 grant for the state’s Master Plumbers Association to expand the scheme, which currently operates exclusively in the southeast region. 

PVC is one of the most widely used plastic polymers in the construction industry, and clean piping, off-cuts, and fittings can be easily recycled to create new PVC pipes.

The program’s expansion will see 22 new recycling locations established, including one at Reece Plumbing Centre in North Rockhampton, to facilitate broader participation and accessibility and boost the number of recycling deposit sites to 38.

The expansion will also incorporate educational outreach programs in the industry, with plans to work its way into TAFE campuses to instil recycling behaviours in the next generation of Queensland plumbers.

Minister Linard said the renewed scheme would be the first of many commitments made by the Government to support industry in tackling the mountains of construction and demolition waste. 

“Construction and demolition waste is the largest headline wastes by volume and is listed as a problem waste in the Queensland Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy,” she said in a statement provided to Build-it.

“With new funding of $150,000, the expansion of our Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme will see more dedicated PVC recycling bins installed at strategic locations, including here in Rockhampton.

“We want a society where waste is avoided, reused and recycled, and that includes the construction industry,” 

Since the scheme began in 2021, builders and tradies have successfully diverted more than 2.1 tonnes of PVC piping from landfills, and 93 per cent of recovered materials were recycled into new PVC products.

Master Plumbers Association of Queensland Executive Director Penny Cornah said the construction industry held a “crucial responsibility” in curbing plastic waste and advocating for the planet’s well-being. 

“We are proud of our collaboration with our partners in promoting eco-conscious practices within the industry through the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme,” Ms Cornah said.

“The scheme enables us to offer a straightforward solution to reduce the disposal of PVC off-cuts in landfill.

“Numerous plumbing businesses are dedicated to adopting sustainable approaches and we are excited that the Queensland Government is supporting this scheme, extending its reach up to Rockhampton.”

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.