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Consultants earn their pay in trash-pak defence effort

By johnboy - 15 June 2012 9

Simon Corbell cheerfully informs us that his consultant has returned the findings he was seeking on whether we should get a third bin like everyone else:

An independent report into organic waste recovery for multi-unit residences in the ACT has reinforced the government’s preferred option for a residual material recovery facility (Residual MRF) over a third bin for households, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, said today.

Mr Corbell has released an independent report, undertaken by Hyder Consulting, on organic waste recovery from multi-unit developments.

“The report concluded the best way to capture residual organics in the ACT was to establish a Residual Material Recovery Facility (Residual MRF) which could capture more than 80% of organics and 50-60% of the total residual waste at less than half the cost of a third bin,” Mr Corbell said.

“This report clearly shows that a third-bin as proposed by the ACT Greens is not the most economically or environmentally responsible decision to recover organic wastes from multi-unit developments, and the government’s proposed option of a Residual MRF would achieve strong results at the best cost to the tax-payer,” Mr Corbell said.

“Increasingly, Canberrans are choosing to live in multi-unit developments to achieve better access to work and public transport, the ACT Government has been looking at different ways to recover the waste from these units.”


UPDATE 15/06/12 11:56: The Greens are not impressed.

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9 Responses to
Consultants earn their pay in trash-pak defence effort
dungfungus 8:38 am 27 Jun 12

The pong from Mugga Lane landfill was the worst it has ever been in North Tuggeranong last night. The smell clings to one’s clothing like cigarette smoke. I am informed that the garbage is no longer being covered with topsoil and it is planned to spray the stuff with deodorant (which has been done in the past)
I reckon the blowies that have gone North for the winter are salivating for their return so they can do their stuff. All barbeques will accordingly be indoor affairs this summer.
I’ll bet that if our Chief Minister was getting a whiff of what we are getting at present the problem would be fixed overnight. Someone should remind her that this is an election year.

dungfungus 6:01 pm 20 Jun 12

dungfungus said :

miz said :

As a gardener, I would not want to obtain any post-dump ‘residual’ (ie contaminated) waste as compost – whereas collected waste from households that has been separated before collection is much more likely to be attractive to gardeners.
I think Minister Corbell should take note of this.

As a sideline, can something be done about the constant stink of the Mugga Lane Tip? It was never a problem until about 18 months ago, and I am several kms from it. It is horrible driving past it on the Monaro Hwy, even on my commuter bus, even in winter with the windows closed. Who does one write to to ask for something to be done, other than the ubiquitous TAMS?

Agree with you about the contaminated waste.
Re the pong from the Mugga Lane Tip, I have stopped walking on the ridge between Fadden Hills and the tip because the smell is overpowering. I phoned Canberra Connect and they said they have had lots of complaints from Fadden, Macarthur and Chilsolm about it and I was assuree that the EPA was on to it. I asked to be advised what the outcome would be and didn’t get an answer. Was going to phone the Greens but have found them to be useless on simlar issues.

When I opened the back door at 7.00am this morning the “pong” was there again, nice and crisp with the -6 degree temperature. A phone call to Canberra Collect was only able to refer me to the message service of the EPA officer who services “Tuggeranong and Jerrabomberra” (I thought Jerrabomberra was in NSW). So far, no response.
I think the smell is coming from Corkhills green recycling facility and not the methane from the general landfill (which has been suggested on other blogs) in which case it may be time to relocate this facility as when the new cemetery and crematorium open adjacent to the Mugga Lane tip in Long Gully Road the last thing mourners will want to inhale is the “putrid smell from up the road”
I can see this developing into an election issue because of the contingency of further smells eminating from the planned Residual MRF. I wonder if the consultants dealt with this aspect and is the new plant subject to an EIS? I doubt if the Corkhills site ever had an EIS as it has been there a long time and covers a vast area now.

dungfungus 2:02 pm 17 Jun 12

miz said :

As a gardener, I would not want to obtain any post-dump ‘residual’ (ie contaminated) waste as compost – whereas collected waste from households that has been separated before collection is much more likely to be attractive to gardeners.
I think Minister Corbell should take note of this.

As a sideline, can something be done about the constant stink of the Mugga Lane Tip? It was never a problem until about 18 months ago, and I am several kms from it. It is horrible driving past it on the Monaro Hwy, even on my commuter bus, even in winter with the windows closed. Who does one write to to ask for something to be done, other than the ubiquitous TAMS?

Agree with you about the contaminated waste.
Re the pong from the Mugga Lane Tip, I have stopped walking on the ridge between Fadden Hills and the tip because the smell is overpowering. I phoned Canberra Connect and they said they have had lots of complaints from Fadden, Macarthur and Chilsolm about it and I was assuree that the EPA was on to it. I asked to be advised what the outcome would be and didn’t get an answer. Was going to phone the Greens but have found them to be useless on simlar issues.

miz 9:54 am 17 Jun 12

As a gardener, I would not want to obtain any post-dump ‘residual’ (ie contaminated) waste as compost – whereas collected waste from households that has been separated before collection is much more likely to be attractive to gardeners.
I think Minister Corbell should take note of this.

As a sideline, can something be done about the constant stink of the Mugga Lane Tip? It was never a problem until about 18 months ago, and I am several kms from it. It is horrible driving past it on the Monaro Hwy, even on my commuter bus, even in winter with the windows closed. Who does one write to to ask for something to be done, other than the ubiquitous TAMS?

Innovation 11:10 am 15 Jun 12

pajs said :

‘Organic waste’ from multi-residential sites is a mix of household organics (such as food waste) and green waste from parks and grounds. The issue is not just a green waste bin – it’s also what to do with the food waste component.

From a cost to government perspective, requiring green waste to be self-hauled and keeping food in with mixed waste to landfill is a really cheap solution. Adding a facility that takes the mixed waste to landfill waste stream, does some sorting, pulls out some recyclables, composts the organics fraction and then only sends the residual waste to landfill is an extra cost on current arrangements, but cheaper for government than having to provide a third bin.

Maybe not cheaper on a whole-of-society costing basis, but definitely cheaper for government. The real problem I have with the ACT government idea for running an AWT plant to pull organics out of mixed waste is that without source separation you are not going to produce a high-quality organic output (compost, soil conditioner, etc). You are much more likely to get a low-grade product, with visible plastics contamination and similar problems, with fewer end-market opportunities than a high-quality compost.

Personally, I’d prefer the ACT Government bit the bullet, jacked up rates and provided a third bin that covered both green waste and food waste. Keep the organics source-separated and with low contamination, even if it requires expense to government and the rates base at the start to educate households.

I would have agreed too. But they seem to have jacked up rates for many people but I haven’t been able to identify any extra services that we will benefit from.

EvanJames 11:03 am 15 Jun 12

Such a waste. If that compostible stuff was collected and composted, we’d all be better off. And normal rubbish wouldn’t smell so bad.

Chop71 10:40 am 15 Jun 12

Nothing like keeping those consultants employed.

pajs 10:24 am 15 Jun 12

‘Organic waste’ from multi-residential sites is a mix of household organics (such as food waste) and green waste from parks and grounds. The issue is not just a green waste bin – it’s also what to do with the food waste component.

From a cost to government perspective, requiring green waste to be self-hauled and keeping food in with mixed waste to landfill is a really cheap solution. Adding a facility that takes the mixed waste to landfill waste stream, does some sorting, pulls out some recyclables, composts the organics fraction and then only sends the residual waste to landfill is an extra cost on current arrangements, but cheaper for government than having to provide a third bin.

Maybe not cheaper on a whole-of-society costing basis, but definitely cheaper for government. The real problem I have with the ACT government idea for running an AWT plant to pull organics out of mixed waste is that without source separation you are not going to produce a high-quality organic output (compost, soil conditioner, etc). You are much more likely to get a low-grade product, with visible plastics contamination and similar problems, with fewer end-market opportunities than a high-quality compost.

Personally, I’d prefer the ACT Government bit the bullet, jacked up rates and provided a third bin that covered both green waste and food waste. Keep the organics source-separated and with low contamination, even if it requires expense to government and the rates base at the start to educate households.

JimCharles 10:08 am 15 Jun 12

Seems a bit unusual, why not just have a big receptacle(s) at each multiunit and get that collected once per week?
A lot of folk in these multiunits haven’t got vehicles (that’s why they live in rentals where they can walk or catch public transport)….so how are they going to take their waste anywhere?
Even if they do…what’s the emissions cost on potentially thousands of car journey’s to an organic tip, compared to an organised collection once per week ?

The grass and garden vegetation gets me…..property manager insists on lawns being mown and watered, but there’s no compost facility, so you cut the grass and drive it across to Mitchell or Macgregor and dump it. Where does it go then? Do they compost it and sell it back to farms to reduce the fertiliser run off that’s polluting the lake?

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