The Waste Management Centre (formerly known as 'the tip') has undergone some major changes, and there are still more to come.
In December 1995, the New South Wales Waste Minimisation and Management Act became law. The underlying principle of the Act was to achieve, by the end of 2000, a 60% reduction in the amount of waste disposed of to landfill in New South Wales, based on 1990 disposal rates. This reduction in the volume of waste was to be achieved by avoidance, re-use, recycling and reprocessing, and disposal.
This reduction in waste was to be achieved in conjunction with new environmental legislation directed at achieving "world best practice" in the transport, reprocessing, handling and disposal of waste.
The combined effect of the various legislation governing waste management in New South Wales resulted in much higher environmental standards for waste landfill depots. As a result, the cost of operating the Bathurst Waste Management Centre has increased by several hundred percent. To meet these costs, Council had to introduce charges for waste disposal, in order to achieve the required environmental standards.
Council's objective for waste management is to provide a modern, high class waste landfill depot and recycling centre which meets the needs of the community and complies with the high environmental standards established by the New South Wales State Government. In order to achieve this, Council has:
- Prepared a Landfill Environmental Management Plan and Operations and Management Manual that regulates all operations at the Centre;
- Implemented a comprehensive environmental monitoring programme to identify any significant noise, gas, dust, odour, surface water and groundwater impacts as they occur so that remedial action can be taken immediately;
- Provided a Recycling Area so that recyclable materials can be collected for recycling;
- Provided storage areas for motor vehicle remains and whitegoods so that such materials can be stored until collection by a metal recycler;
- Provided a green waste area for the collection of vegetation and untreated timber waste;
- Provided a storage area for motor vehicle tyres until collection by a tyre recycling contractor;
- Erected litter fences to catch and collect wind blown litter that would otherwise reduce the amenity of the area, and;
- Began rehabilitating previously filled areas of the Bathurst Waste Management Centre to meet the satisfaction of the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority.
Environmental and Facilities Upgrade
Following 12 months of careful and detailed planning, Council commenced the environmental and facilities upgrade works. Over the subsequent 12 to 18 months, there was a dramatic change to the site and the way that wastes will be handled. Some of these changes include:
- An integrated water management system which minimises the environmental risks of surface and groundwater contamination;
- A new gatehouse utilising a weighbridge system so that waste loads entering the site can be accurately weighed and charged;
- An all weather recycling / transfer station facility which will eliminate the need for small vehicles to go to the tipping face;
A wash bay facility for the cleaning of Council collection vehicles and operational plant;
- Investigate the establishment of a Salvaged Goods Recycling Centre. Items delivered to the Bathurst Waste Management Centre that are capable of being re-used could be sold back to the public;
- Rehabilitation, reshaping and revegetation of previously landfilled areas so as to improve drainage and minimise erosion.
Some of these changes are still underway, and Council apologises for any short-term inconvenience these upgrade works may cause.