Digging for waste ideas

Mindarie Regional Council (MRC) manages much of the waste from seven local government areas, including the cities of Joondalup, Perth, Stirling, Vincent and Wanneroo, and towns of Cambridge and Victoria Park.

MRC chief executive Brian Callander said though the Robson report into local government reform gave the State Government the mandate to say regional councils were no longer needed, any decisions on their future had been deferred.

He said waste organisations had formed the strategic waste infrastructure working group, which he was a member of, to address infrastructure needs for the metropolitan area and Peel over the next 50 years.

‘That report will be finalised about April to June and the group is trying to ensure all parties that might be affected have a say.’

Mr Callander said from a planning context, they wanted waste to be considered on the same level as water, with land set aside specifically for waste facilities through the metropolitan regional scheme.

He said if land was set aside at appropriate locations in the metropolitan area, it would reduce transport costs, and he suggested resource recovery facilities, similar to the MRC’s one in Neerabup, could be put in industrial areas.

‘There will be a need for transfer stations (where we) take the waste, put it in a bigger vehicle and take it where it needs to go,’ he said.

‘Tamala Park is the end point for waste, a transfer station would be midpoint.’

Mr Callander said at a local level, MRC had been developing its own strategic plan, and would be investing $6 million in capital infrastructure at its current sites, including a sorting shed.

He said they were also looking for a new landfill site to use once Tamala Park was full in about a decade.

To improve resource recovery and prolong the landfill’s lifetime, MRC is trialing how to extract recyclable materials from the tipface.

Mr Callander said they were particularly looking at improving verge collection methods for member councils, as most of the reusable items placed on verges currently ended up in landfill.