Plumbing industry trials zero waste program

Published Friday, 12 November, 2021 at 12:11 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

Off-cuts of PVC pipes and fittings used in the construction industry can be saved from becoming landfill under an innovative pilot program introduced by the state’s plumbing industry and supported by the Queensland Government during National Recycling Week.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the Palaszczuk Government had provided $26,000  to the Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) to support a six-month trial for a Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme.

Ms Scanlon officially launched the scheme at Labrador Reece Plumbing Store today.

The scheme is administered by MPAQ and the Plastics Industry Pipe Association of Australia (PIPA), in conjunction with Iplex, Reece, Tradelink, and Vinidex.

It will see collection bins used at seven participating locations across south-east Queensland, providing the means for  PVC off-cuts to be collected and recycled, with the waste material also audited and recorded.

“Our vision is for Queensland to be a zero-waste society, powered by a circular economy – where waste is reduced, and resources are recovered and re-used,” Minister Scanlon said.

“Initiatives like the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme can play an important role in achieving this.

“With collection sites across the south-east, it’ll be easier for the construction industry to divert their PVC off-cuts from landfill and have them recycled. That’s good news for the environment, good for businesses’ bottom line and great for resource recovery jobs.” 

MPAQ Executive Director Penny Cornah said MPAQ and PIPA greatly appreciated the Queensland Government’s support for the scheme.

“We know that PVC can be recycled up to seven times without any noticeable lessening of quality,” Ms Cornah said.

“This pilot not only promotes PVC recycling and the identification of the volume of PVC off-cuts generated on construction sites, but it also raises awareness of the positive sustainability benefits and long-life attributes of plastic pipes, which last more than 100 years.”

“If the scheme can eventually be introduced throughout Queensland and Australia the benefits are clear, both in terms of responsible diversion of PVC off-cuts from landfill and their re-use into new recyclable long-life pipes”.

Ms Scanlon said the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme was a clear example of a “circular economy” in motion.

Participating locations under the scheme are:

•           Beenleigh Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre

•           Caboolture Hospital

•           The Star Casino Site Gold Coast

•           Labrador Reece Plumbing Store

•           Prominence Outlook Pallara

•           Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Development (Towers 1 and 2)

•           Woolloongabba Tradelink Store

“Of these, the Labrador Reece Plumbing Store and the Woollongabba Tradelink Store are able to accept PVC off-cuts from other sites, meaning other construction business can themselves become involved in recycling their PVC off-cuts, and I would encourage them to do so” Ms Scanlon said.

To find out more about the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme and what can and cannot be recycled, visit