In late-2019, Lane Cove residents were invited to have their say and make a submission to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) public consultation on the future use of compost derived from general household waste (red-bin waste).
On 1 July 2017 a new 'Red Bin' Waste Processing Facility commenced operations at the old Woodlawn Mine site (near Goulburn) to convert general household waste into compost (known as MWOO) suitable for mine site rehabilitation. The $100 million facility was delivered by Veolia under a licence granted by the EPA to service five Northern Sydney councils including Lane Cove and Southern Sydney councils, to dramatically increase the diversion of waste from landfill.
In October 2018 the EPA temporarily halted the application of MWOO to mine sites pending further research and is now proposing to ban its use permanently. It should be noted while the Woodlawn facility produced compost for approximately 18 months, none of the actual compost was ever distributed on the site.
The Woodlawn site is an abandoned mine which has various levels of contamination including copper tailings and the like. For this reason, it has strict MWOO application and water runoff controls in place approved by the EPA. Given the copper tailings dam alone would require 20 years of MWOO production to fill and would be capped when completed, Council is calling for a specific exemption to the ban for this use.
The EPA's consultation ended on Thursday 28 November 2019.
Find out more about the tailings dam. (Please follow the links to the agenda and minutes for the October Council Meeting. In the agenda, the information can be found on page six and in the minutes, the information can be found on page four.)