11/03/2009 - 22:00

Local authorities need to act on waste – report

11/03/2009 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

PERTH faces a waste management crisis if authorities do not build infrastructure to cope with increasing populations by 2019, says Perth Waste Authority chairman Barry Carbon.

PERTH faces a waste management crisis if authorities do not build infrastructure to cope with increasing populations by 2019, says Perth Waste Authority chairman Barry Carbon.

A new report, released on Monday, shows domestic waste across the metropolitan area will increase by 22 per cent by 2019 and commercial waste sent to landfill will increase by 19 per cent over the same period.

Mr Carbon said if the report, the first of its kind, was not commissioned when it was, Perth could have struggled to cope with the predicted increases.

"Our breathing space isn't much," Mr Carbon said.

Metropolitan regional councils, co-ordinated by the Perth Waste Authority, have ten years to plan and build new resource recovery facilities, landfill areas and community education programs.

The only council not facing a capacity problem is the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council, which has landfill waste facilities in the Darling Range with a lifetime of 70 to 100 years.

Southern Metropolitan Regional Council was the first to establish kerbside collection of green-waste.

But the council is no stranger to the pitfalls of green waste management after ongoing problems with its RRF in Canning.

Odours caused controversy last October, when a Department of Environment survey found they were at unacceptable levels and the facility was audited.

In February, the City of Canning pulled out of the SMRC at a cost of $20 million to ratepayers, excluding itself from using the RRF and indicating it would find other waste management options.

The SMRC had been in discussions with the Rivers Regional Council to build infrastructure in Kwinana and Rockingham to service both areas.

But the decision by the City of Canning to pull out of the SMRC will increase the capacity of the Canning RRF and has put feasibility studies on hold, with the possibility that Canning will absorb waste from the Rivers Regional Council.

The experiences of SMRC have helped the Mindarie Regional Council in the design and construction of its resource recovery facility at Neerabup.

Project manager Ian Watkin said the council had made significant changes to the design.

"We've made the building airtight, so you don't need as much air flowing through to control the odour. We've also installed various speed fans to control airflow," Mr Watkin said.

The facility, which will process about 100,000 tonnes of waste per year, will be commissioned in April and should be operating commercially by mid-year.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options