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New Waste Treatment

Woodlawn landfill July 2017.JPGNew Era for Waste Management in Lane Cove and beyond...

The Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) has welcomed the official opening of a new waste treatment facility by the Hon Pru Goward MP, Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault on Friday 8 September 2017.

The new $100 million dollar waste processing facility at the Woodlawn Eco-precinct in southern NSW, delivered by Veolia, has begun transforming waste into useful compost for environmental rehabilitation using red-lid bin waste from 11 Sydney Councils, including five Northern Sydney Council members of NSROC.

The Northern Sydney Waste Services Alliance comprises the Councils of Hunter’s Hill, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Ryde and Willoughby. The Councils are amongst the first customers for an alternative waste technology solution under a regional contract with Veolia.

The official opening comes after the facility’s start-up on 1 July, which signified a new era in reducing the amount of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) sent to landfill under a shared contract with Veolia amongst five Northern Sydney Councils, and a separate shared contract with the company amongst six Southern Sydney Councils.

Since the start of the new financial year, the NSROC Councils have had around 42% of their total red-lid bin waste processed at the new Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) facility for eventual use as compost for rehabilitating the Woodlawn mine site.

At the opening, Cr Richard Quinn, President of NSROC, said that: "Northern Sydney Councils have been working on their ‘war on waste’ on behalf of their communities for some time, and are excited to see this milestone reached.

"On average, 55% of the general waste (from the red-lid bin) that goes into the facility from our area will be turned into useful compost, adding to the existing Council recycling services for cardboard, plastics, metals, and garden organics."

"By recovering the resources in MSW at the MBT facility, Councils and Veolia will, together, significantly lower the amount of waste that is currently being sent to landfill."

The MBT is a purpose-built plant designed to maximise the recovery of the organic content of the household waste. It incorporates the knowledge and technology that Veolia has gained operating similar facilities in Europe for over 30 years.

Councils’ waste is transported by train from Sydney to Veolia’s facility near Goulburn NSW, where the new MBT has been constructed as part of the greater Woodlawn Eco-precinct. Veolia also constructed a new transfer facility at Banksmeadow as part of the project. Waste is tipped from Council trucks and compacted into containers at both the Banksmeadow and Clyde transfer stations for shipment by train to Woodlawn, saving thousands of truck movements.

Councillor Quinn stated that: "The new facility provides an overdue expansion of waste treatment capacity for metropolitan waste, and will advance resource recovery under a process that is both environmentally and economically sustainable."

Another positive outcome from the development is the addition of more than 50 jobs in total at the Banksmeadow Waste Transfer Facility and Woodlawn Eco-precinct.

Danny Conlon, Veolia’s Executive General Manager - Eastern Region, says that this new facility is: "The result of years of planning and work by the councils and Veolia. This project will save millions of dollars in waste levy charges by producing compost from the organics found in red-bin waste, increasing diversion from landfill."

In 2012, the Northern Sydney Councils Alliance commenced working together to establish the regional contract that since 2015 has managed around 90,000 tonnes of waste per year. In 2017-18, 33,000 tonnes will be processed into compost through the MBT.

Over the ten year contract between the NSROC Councils and Veolia, as other processing facilities come on-stream, the contract’s requirements will see up to 280,000 tonnes of waste diverted away from landfill.

This will rely on both the MBT process and a subsequent processing stage that will make a fuel product from waste that can be used in cement manufacturing.

For the five Northern Sydney Councils, this new waste management service will add to the 80,000 tonnes already expected to be recycled in 2017-18 through the other recycling services. This total of 113,000 tonnes that will be subjected to some form of treatment to minimise landfill represents more than two-thirds of all waste collected from households by the five councils.