Adam Perry argues the case for his Fyshwick metal recycling plans

Adam Perry 10 July 2019 11

Access Recycling’s Canberra operation now includes the disused railway fuel terminal adjacent to its metal recycling facility in Fyshwick. Photo: Supplied.

Urban change is afoot in Fyshwick where the suburb’s industrial history is coming up hard against changing patterns of use and the arrival of residential development at the Molonglo Group’s Dairy Road precinct.

A few weeks’ ago, Fyshwick businessman Rob Evans of Allbids voiced his frustration over waste processing proposals and today Adam Perry from Access Recycling responds. Access is a metal recycling service provider to heavy industry, mining, rail services and consumers across several sites around Australia.

Tomorrow, you’ll hear from Inner South Community Council president Marea Fatseas who queries how much waste processing we really need in the ACT.

Our metal recycling facility in Lithgow Street, Fyshwick, has been in continuous operation since the mid-80s. Over that time the nature of scrap metal processing has changed. The total amount of scrap metal generated per person, per annum, is gradually decreasing.

At the same time, the waste content in scrap metal, particularly plastic and composite materials, is increasing. Years ago, the metal we received and processed was clean and heavy – now it’s light with a lot of plastic attachments. You’ve only got to look at a modern car and compare it to an old car to see what we are referring to.

Our development application is to undertake a number of site improvements, including more concreting of our work areas, building better security fencing, and installation of metal processing machinery to allow us to process metal that has non-metallic attachments.

Access Recycling also operates in Adelaide and western NSW. Photo: Supplied.

We simply seek to modernize our processing technology. We don’t seek to increase the volume of metal processed. We regularly report our throughput volumes to TCCS as a condition of our Waste Facility Licence. Similarly, all environmental aspects of our operation are closely monitored and regulated by the EPA, as a condition of our Environmental Authorisation. Daily operations are conducted according to a binding Environmental Management Plan, which is reviewed annually by the EPA.

Our site has been a metal recycling facility for more than 30 years. What we are proposing is entirely consistent with the area. We are in an industrial zone. We are surrounded by other industrial sites, including builder’s depots, a sawmill, a brick distribution centre, two of Canberra’s largest concrete batching plants, a bulk cement storage facility, a sheet metal fabricator, and one of Canberra’s largest waste bin companies.

None of our immediate neighbours have made any submissions against our development application. Our site is appropriately zoned for the proposal. There are four other metal recycling facilities operating in Fyshwick, one of which has four-times the site footprint of Access Recycling.

All we are seeking to do is modernize part of our operation so that we can remain competitive and efficient well into the future. We won’t have any adverse impacts on our neighbours, and we will need to employ more people to operate the new machinery.

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11 Responses to Adam Perry argues the case for his Fyshwick metal recycling plans
ACT resident ACT resident 5:26 pm 11 Jul 19

The conjecture is around future volumes as any company rightly invests for increased profit. The new machinery results in a less contaminated greatly compressed product but the dust then is more toxic because the process of shredding cars is in the open air blowing over Fyshwick. Neither the Waste Management Regulation Licence nor the EPA Authorisation will place a limit on waste in and out because of profit entitlement with a right to expand. The waste amounts are reported by the company. If as you say there are some major heavy industries already in the light industrial area why on earth would you allow more? The waste metal is only throughput and does nothing value added for Fyshwick, which is changing in line with any inner light industrial suburb of a major city. Only a few sites in Fyshwick are IZ.1 General industry and Mr Perry’s proposed enhanced vehicle fragmentising is not located on one of them.

ACT resident ACT resident 3:08 pm 11 Jul 19

Mr Perry’s Access Recycling metal recycling plans at 15 Lithgow St constitute a major transformation from a metal recycling to a metal processing plant more suited to a heavy industrial area such as mentioned in Adelaide with the nearest residence more than a km away. Mr Perry’s associated company, CRS’s rail freight terminal is heavy rail infrastructure which common sense would dictate should be surrounded by an IZ.1 – General industry area. The CRS massive 7250m2 shed planned for the former adjacent Shell site pictured in the RiotACT article at 16 Ipswich St Fyshwick is intended to receive up to 300,000 tonnes per annum of waste from outside Fyshwick. At the site pictured is also allowed to be installed an extra set of traffic lights to enable heavy vehicles exiting from the waste hub to turn right to access the Monaro highway. These truck operated lights are around 100m to the north of the existing Wiluna and Ipswich T-intersection lights. Thus heavy vehicles on the downhill run from the rail bridge and crossing to the left to turn into Wiluna St will have a dangerous stop. Additionally, Mr Perry has met with ACT Government officers in a bid to secure the future green bin putrescible food and garden organics (FOGO) for rail transfer to Woodlawn landfill 70km away. There is nothing light industrial in this proposed waste hub which is probably why the ACT Government in its Waste Feasibility Study and Market Sounding identified the heavy industrial area (IZ.1) of Hume for major waste facilities. The 10,000 or so weekly visitors to the Molonglo Group’s innovative Dairy Road development and all other Canberrans seeking services and product in Fyshwick will be the losers. We need Fyshwick for people not out of area waste trucks.

Shirimati Prasad Shirimati Prasad 8:54 am 11 Jul 19

There seems to be conjecture around additional volumes. Couldn’t this be resolved by applying a cap on metal volumes to their waste licence, to ensure current levels are maintained?
I have driven past the metal recycling facility a couple of times when visiting Monarch Building Solutions and there are other major heavy industries in the area. I believe we need to be careful not to push through with commercial gentrification in this area and run these businesses out of Fyshwick. These heavy industries have been there for over 20 years.

Omar Hashmi Omar Hashmi 8:13 am 11 Jul 19

As a long time worker in Fyshwick, I find the arguments opposed to this facility rather weak and out of touch with the Fyshwick business community.

The site in question is a disused fuel facility from when fuel was transported to Canberra by train, and then sent around the city by truck from this location. Like all petrol stations the land beneath it is polluted and requires significant clean up for most other uses.

This area of Fyshwick is intentionally designed for rail related industry. So is Kingston actually. As such the proposed recycling facility is really perfect for the site.

As to the concerns. The traffic on Ipswich St is a non issue. The street is literally bypassed by the Monaro highway. And Lithgow or Wiluna could be used as an alternative entrance.

The argument that Fyshwick’s future is in mixed retail and commercial (ie, read gentrification into a shopping area for the rich like the DFO area (“poshwick”) or the brewery on Dairy rd) is not only far fetched but completely undesirable. Canberra needs industrial areas, and we need more rail freight.

The argument that this is heavy industry is both irrelevant and wrong. Heavy industry would be like a coal burning Kingston powerhouse, not a sorting facility. And if heavy industry did want to set up in Fyshwick, that’d be great too! Canberra needs some actual industry.

    concerned ratepayer concerned ratepayer 4:05 pm 11 Jul 19

    Cui Bono
    As a client of a multitude of Fyshwick enterprises over the last 50 years, one would have to be blind or completely commercially insensitive not to be a witness to the dramatic change that has occurred in Fyshwick’s business profile.
    While a decreasing few of the small, family-owned light industries are still sprinkled around the precinct, massive changes towards commercial, retail, wholesale and service industries have blossomed across the whole area.
    Fyshwick is reflecting what has happened to the whole of the Australian business economy. Fyshwick has moved on. The old, traditional rail freight is uneconomic and dead except for long-haul, point to point bulk transport, which Canberra does not provide.
    A new enlarged waste products dump would be a massive, unacceptable and disastrous step back to the past and do untold damage to the future of Fyshwick.

    letterboxfrog letterboxfrog 8:30 am 12 Jul 19

    Here here! Totally agree!

coopersred coopersred 7:43 pm 10 Jul 19

I have been working in Fyshwick for for the past eleven years.

Already we see quite a lot of trucks choking up this area. This includes the metal trucks heading to Access, as well as cement trucks, garbage trucks, courier and transport trucks, from small trucks to the extra long ones. They continually block the roads, carparks and driveways to other businesses when they feel like it, especially around the Take Aways. When we have asked politely to please not block our driveway, we always get the responce, ‘I’m only going to be a few minutes’, not usually so polite. Which is a few minutes (usually at least 10) our customers cannot access our business, per truck, per day.

I think it a bit short sighted to not see that increasing the size to the facility, with more employees, will not increase the ‘throughput’, and with that, increase the amount of trucks and other vehicles. Which will only Add to an already frustrating situation.

The main goal behind any business is, of course, to increase profits. How can Adam say, that they plan to spend all the money I imagine it will take, to upgrade and modernise, without also planning to increase their ‘throughput’? As the saying goes, ‘You spend money to make money’.

janet janet 3:27 pm 10 Jul 19

As a Narrabundah resident I feel that increasing in any capacity the rubbish in Fyshwick is a horrible idea. With all the recycling and waste center plans that are being proposed in the area Fyshwick is going to lose its way as a light industrial area. The traffic coming from Ipswich Street onto Canberra avenue is already a major traffic issue in my morning commute with trucks constantly blocking the intersection. Adding more trucks is going to turn the whole area into a carpark. Hume already has a tip, why not place all these works there?

phoon phoon 2:06 pm 10 Jul 19

Nice to see both sides of the issue being discussed and I must say I don’t really know much about Access’s proposals beyond the fact that when I have been there (2 or 3 times in my life) it has definitely needed to be concreted!

Rob, your comment here and your article last week suggested that there would be a massive increase in throughput if Access gets what it wants, but Adam says they are not seeking to process more material than now – and the things he has listed there don’t necessarily seem to suggest that they would, but that their processes would be more efficient. Can either of you expand on the discrepancy in your arguments?

Also seems a valid point that there is another scrap yard in Fyshwick that has four times the footprint but that is not met with the same objections?

    Rob Evans Rob Evans 3:54 pm 10 Jul 19

    Access and associated companies are doing this piecemeal. The metal recycling improvements are only one aspect. Other plans have been submitted to truck in 300 tonnes pa of commercial waste into the old Shell depot next to their recently approved railway siding. So the argument is not just against the heavy industrial car recycling but against what is proposed when it is all put together ie. it will be a major waste facility right in the middle of Ipswich Street where an extra set of lights will be built just over the crest of the current bridge at Ipswich Street. Those that know how busy this major thoroughfare is already will know how detrimental this will be to Fyshwick in general. With regard to the larger scrapyard, he is referring to Jack Martin’s in Cessnock St, that as I mentioned is due to be redeveloped into a more appropriate commercial and retail area (the land currently owned by the ACT Government). Its also vastly different in terms of what it processes and who it services. They don’t crush cars and they deal directly with the public.

Rob Evans Rob Evans 1:12 pm 10 Jul 19

Adam, it’s good to have a respectful debate about this issue. I think its a great thing that your business is upgrading its processes around the importance of fragmentising and recycling end of life motor vehicles and general metal recycling.

I just believe that your operations are in the wrong location and my major concern is with the damage that this heavy industry will do to Fyshwick’s future light industrial and mixed-use retail businesses.

Current development plans for the precinct between Ipswich St and Lithgow St will result in 4 major waste facilities adjacent. These include not just your metal processing that you have outlined, but also your plans for 300,000 tonnes p.a. of waste to be trucked into the former Shell depot for processing, a waste transfer terminal delivering to Woodlawn landfill and the existing waste bin company.

Contrary to your article, you must be well aware that many Fyshwick businesses, including your neighbours and Canberrans, have written submissions rejecting a major waste facility in this location. Fyshwick is already the second largest commercial centre in Canberra, with bright prospects of substantial further growth, all of which are put at risk if this unsuitable pattern of waste industries is further expanded.

I might add that Government plans for the Fyshwick metal recycling operation at Cessnock Street are for commercial and retail development. Additionally, the ACT Government’s own documented Waste Strategy (Page 30) is to develop the Hume Resource Recovery Estate to co-locate resource recovery facilities.

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