Councils ponder move on waste

Rivers Regional Council (RRC) represents Gosnells, Armadale, Serpentine Jarrahdale, South Perth, Mandurah, Murray and Waroona councils.

Accepting the tender would mean that instead of these councils’ non-recyclable waste going to landfill, the plant would burn the waste and convert it to useable energy.

The City of Canning, which pulled out of its own regional council, is also a possible contributor of waste to the plant.

‘We are pleased to have finally reached this point,’ chairman Ron Hoffman said.

‘This has been a long and laborious process and we are almost at the stage where we can provide an excellent service, one I believe will be very good value for money.’

Waste to Energy plants are common in Europe and while on a recent study trip, Southern River MLA Peter Abetz arranged to visit one in Paris.

‘Such plants offer a sustainable method of municipal and medical waste disposal,’ his report said.

Mr Abetz compared the plant to Canning Vale’s Regional Resource Recovery Centre composting facility, to which the City of Canning once contributed waste.

He said it was costly to build and maintain, had had significant odour issues and only reduced waste going to landfill by about 60 per cent, whereas plants such as that he had observed achieved figures closer to 90 per cent.

‘A Waste to Energy plant is also more cost effective and has an equal or better environmental outcome,’ he said.

The RRC contract includes safeguards in case of participating councils being amalgamated or dissolved.

Councils must confirm participation by July 17.

Phoenix must confirm it can meet its obligations, including obtaining financing, by the end of July.

If all goes well, the RRC could award the tender at its August 21 meeting.