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Waste deal struck

Tuesday 3 March 2020

Eurobodalla Council has struck a deal with the NSW government to get bushfire demolition waste off residents’ land.

The agreement means waste contractors can soon dump fire affected waste at the shire’s three tips, which will be managed and operated by NSW Government contractors for the duration of the clean-up.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes welcomed the deal.

“Laing O’Rourke are here to start the government-funded clean up with nowhere to put demolition waste. We helped them to trial waste disposal at our tips to ensure this is a workable solution,” Clr Innes said.

“It’s been frustrating, because Council first presented a solution five weeks ago. I thank our staff for persevering to get this across the line - fire-affected residents don’t need more delays.

“I urge the NSW Government to act quickly and bring in the machinery and contractors needed so we can really get this clean-up moving.”

The arrangement will see Brou landfill, located off the highway between Bodalla and Narooma, used for disposal of Eurobodalla’s asbestos contaminated clean-up waste. Air monitoring, vehicle wash down facilities and specialist staff, plant and equipment are part of the deal.

At Surf Beach tip near Batemans Bay, permission for a three-metre high overtop will create an additional 100,000 cubic metres of landfill, or the equivalent of four years’ capacity under normal circumstances.

Potential exists for some asbestos demolition waste to be accepted in the second landfill at Surf Beach if required, and only once the fire-damaged cell has been repaired.

The NSW Government will also establish and operate a waste transfer and recycling depot for non-contaminated bricks and concrete at the adjacent Surf Beach quarry.

Council’s director of planning Lindsay Usher says the arrangement allows the bushfire clean up to take place efficiently while making sure the community’s regular waste management needs can be met in the coming years.

“The sheer volume of bushfire demolition waste would deprive Eurobodalla of long-term waste-management capacity. We expect to receive seven years’ worth of waste in four months,” he said.

“The extra capacity the NSW Government has made available at Surf Beach addresses this for now, however, volumes will be monitored closely and if the amount of waste looks like exceeding agreed site capacities, the deal allows excess to be taken to approved sites outside the shire.”

Eurobodalla’s third waste management facility, a smaller waster transfer station at Moruya, remains closed due to fire damage. Green waste and scrap metal will be recycled there once it reopens within the next few weeks. Council staff will continue to manage Surf Beach landfill for non-bushfire waste and assist contractors at Brou and Moruya.

Residents can continue to use Brou and Surf Beach tips normally for now.

Mr Usher acknowledged community cooperation will be important while the clean-up is underway. “There are still things we don’t know and its possible visiting the tip might not but as convenient as usual while we help fire-impacted residents get their properties cleaned up. As soon as we have more details, we’ll let the community know.”

Council staff will continue to manage Surf Beach landfill for non-bushfire waste and assist contractors at Brou and Moruya for the duration of the government clean-up. Contractor Laing O’Rourke expects to finish most of the clean up by the end of June.