DESPITE widespread misinformation, there is no such thing as a proposal for an energy-from-waste facility to be constructed within the Richmond Valley.
Richmond Valley Council’s Basic Supervisor Vaughan Macdonald mentioned the Regional Job Precinct at On line casino had been recognized within the NSW Authorities’s Vitality from Waste Infrastructure Plan as a website the place an energy-from-waste facility could also be permissible, topic to growth approval sooner or later.
Nevertheless, Mr Macdonald mentioned Council had no intention of constructing such a facility and nobody else had come ahead with a proposal to take action.
He mentioned Council had investigated a spread of choices for coping with residual waste as a result of the present follow of landfilling waste and/or transporting it to Queensland was unsustainable.
“Regardless of our profitable recycling and organics applications, our neighborhood nonetheless creates greater than 9000 tonnes of residual waste annually,” Mr Macdonald mentioned.
“We transport most of this waste to Queensland landfill websites, at an annual value of greater than $2 million.”
Mr Macdonald mentioned most councils on the North Coast had been experiencing comparable challenges with waste and Richmond Valley Council had labored with 12 different councils to discover options.
He mentioned as a part of this course of, trendy energy-from-waste services had been investigated as a potential resolution, nevertheless, Richmond Valley Council resolved at its November 2022 assembly to pause any energetic investigation of energy-from-waste services and to give attention to different waste streams resembling meals organics and recycling.
He mentioned though energy-from-waste services had been working abroad for greater than 20 years, they had been new to Australia and each the Federal and State governments had been nonetheless refining the regulatory points round them, knowledgeable by detailed assessments by the NSW Authorities’s Chief Scientist and Engineer.
“Vitality-from-waste services are too hi-tech and costly for Council to ponder constructing, so any future proposal would want to return from personal enterprise,” Mr Macdonald mentioned.
“A personal investor would first have to find out if such a facility was commercially viable, discover a appropriate block of land, and undergo a prolonged evaluation and approval course of with the NSW Authorities.
“This would come with in depth session with the neighborhood and environmental regulators to acquire a social licence for the ability.
“If a facility was accepted, it could take a number of years to assemble and fee and would then be topic to 24-hour emissions monitoring by regulators.”
Mr Macdonald mentioned as a result of there have been many unknowns on this state of affairs, Council had no dedication to supporting the constructing of an energy-from-waste facility and continued to contemplate all choices for its residual waste.
He mentioned there have been plenty of opinions about present waste points and Richmond Valley Council was holding an open thoughts about potential options because it labored to resolve the neighborhood’s residual waste downside.
“Council is finalising the development of a brand new landfill cell at its Nammoona facility, which can present capability for greater than 10 years of residual waste from the Richmond Valley,” he mentioned.
“We’ll proceed to discover different applied sciences and processes to handle the waste generated by our residents and companies.”
Mr Macdonald mentioned Council would monitor any developments elsewhere in NSW, such because the Parkes Particular Activation Precinct the place a procurement course of was underway for an energy-from-waste facility.
“We now have been clear on this problem all through and can proceed to offer common updates to our neighborhood via Council reviews and different communications,” he mentioned.
“Nevertheless, we have to be clear on the actual fact there may be at the moment no proposal for an energy-from-waste facility within the Richmond Valley.”