Waste Management Update
The wet weather and limited resources have unfortunately delayed further work on the new concrete recycling bays at the Whitemark landfill. The ongoing wet weather has soaked the soil and made it unsuitable for further earthworks. Work will recommence once the soil has had a chance to dry.
The new landfill levy commenced on 1 July 2022. This requires Council to measure, record and report every load of waste arriving at the landfill. Now, the levy is $20 per tonne, this rises to $40 per tonne in two years and to $60 per tonne after a further two years.
There is also a matching offset for materials that are recycled. Therefore, the more materials that are recycled, the less the cost of the levy to residents.
Council is working with a consultant on the future operation and design of the new landfill. Council has received an estimate of the cost for the new landfill cell. Council has identified this new cell as a priority project for the island and will continue to petition the state and federal governments for financial assistance.
In conjunction with this work, they are also working on the design and operation of the recycling process and the equipment required to separate the recyclable materials from the general waste.
As part of this work, they are also looking at alternatives to just dumping rubbish in the landfill cell. Each alternative has both negatives and positives, so each option must be studied thoroughly so see if it is suitable for the island.
In addition to these events, the new container deposit scheme has been put out to tender by the state government. Since the tender was advertised, Council has been contacted by several companies who are considering submitting a tender. These companies are gathering information on the types of container collection options that may work on the island.
The first stage of improvements to the Whitemark Tip Infrastructure is anticipated to be completed by the end of June. This stage comprises of the building of concrete sorting bays and a retaining wall.
The second phase of the remodelling project will require erecting a shed that will be able to accommodate a waste sorting line as well as the bins that will be used for recycling materials. As additional funding was obtained through the Recycling Modernisation Fund, the original concept has been redesigned into a larger shed with a new layout that can accommodate additional pieces of machinery,including a glass crusher.
Starting on the 1/7/2022, in line with the new regulations for reporting the waste levy to the State Government, the tip attendant will be responsible for analysing and recording all the rubbish that is being transported into the facility. This will take place in accordance with the new legislation.
As a result of the impending infrastructure improvements that are planned to take place in the following months, residents will have the option to recycle a variety of waste streams. Because of these changes, specialised sorting bins will be implemented to assist Council in reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill.
As many of you would know, Council has been working on a Waste Management Strategy. This strategy is about how Council will deal with the various amounts and types of rubbish that residents dispose at the Whitemark landfill and the Lady Barron and Killiecrankie waste transfer stations.
In the last year, two key pieces of legislation have been passed by the Tasmanian Government that will have a significant effect on how waste is dealt with on the Island.
The first piece of legislation is the Container Refund Scheme (CRS). Under the scheme, consumers will receive a 10-cent refund for every eligible container they recycle through a refund point. This scheme is due to begin in 2022, however, the state government is still in the process of appointing a company to manage the scheme. As the scheme is yet to be finalised, Council is yet to receive the details on exactly how the scheme will operate.
Even though Council has minimal details on how the scheme will operate, it must still develop a range of plans that gives Council the flexibility to deal with the effect on the waste streams.
The second piece of important legislation is the Waste and Recovery Bill 2021. This is also referred to as the Landfill Levy. This legislation takes effect on 1st July 2022 and establishes a state-wide levy that applies to all waste that is deposited into a landfill. More information here - Landfill Levy FAQs | Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (nre.tas.gov.au)
The levy starts at $20 per tonne with two increases of $20 per tonne every second year. Therefore by 2026, the levy will be $60 per tonne (excluding any CPI increases).
A key purpose of the new infrastructure at the Whitemark landfill, will be to separate the potential recyclable products from the waste so as to minimise the amount of waste being deposited into the landfill and therefore reduce the amount of money paid to the government under the levy.
Council has been successful in receiving grant funding through the Recycling Modernisation Fund from State and Federal Governments to purchase additional equipment to help with sorting the different recyclable materials from waste. The upgrade will include a sorting shed, sorting line and conveyor and a commercial glass pulveriser and shipping containers.
Regarding the recent works to the upgrade of the waste facility; the underground leachate pipework has been constructed, and construction of the new building commenced this week.
When the new landfill levy commences on 1st July, the landfill attendant will be inspecting every load, as Council will be required to provide a detailed report to the government each month on the quantity and type of materials that have been accepted. The information will also be used to calculate the landfill levy fee Council will pay for that month.
There are a lot of other matters happening at the same time, however Council is committed to improving the landfill and transfer stations.
In a nutshell, Council’s objective is to reduce to a minimum, the amount of materials going into the landfill and maximise the amount of materials being recycled.
Manager Infrastructure & Airport