4 May 2018

Fyshwick faces a truck every four minutes to waste recycling plant

| Ian Bushnell
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The view from the Ipswich Street driveway where trucks will exit. Images from the draft EIS.

Inner South businesses and community groups are calling for more time to examine the draft Environmental Impact Statement lodged by the proponent of the planned waste recycling facility in Fyshwick.

Capital Recycling Solutions wants to build its Materials Recovery Facility on Ipswich Street, adjacent to the rail line, to process the Territory’s waste and extract recyclable materials, with existing kerbside collection trucks transporting garbage to Fyshwick.

It says it will divert 300,000 tonnes a year of waste – including household rubbish, commercial and industrial waste, light residues from construction and demolition, and other wastes – from landfill at the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre and recover more than 20 per cent of recyclable material currently transported to landfill.

The remaining waste will be shipped by rail in containers to the Woodlawn Bioreactor landfill at Tarago.

Its original proposal included a waste to energy plant that would burn waste to generate electricity, but this was dropped in the face of strong opposition from the community and the Greens’ Government Minister Shane Rattenbury.

Public consultation on the draft EIS – prepared by Purdon Planning – is open for 30 days and closes on June 5, which many say is too short a period to fully analyse what is a complex and large body of documents.

ALLBIDS CEO Rob Evans, whose business at 7 Wiluna Street backs on to the southern boundary of the CRS site, said the small window for comment reflected a pattern of behaviour from the ACT Government when it came to planning issues in the Territory.

“We need a lot more time, just the traffic impact alone is ridiculous,” he said.

The EIS estimates that the MRF will receive 230 vehicles a day, or 15 every hour from all areas of Canberra.

Mr Evans said his business was probably the worst affected with his warehouse in Wiluna Street having the biggest frontage of land that backs on to the CRS site, but others nearby, including Harvey Norman, were all concerned.

“It is such a central spot between Harvey Norman and All Bids. They are going to put all of Canberra’s waste there, and best case scenario is a truck every four minutes down Ipswich Street,” he said.

“It’s already congested.”

The Capital Recycling Solutions site in Fyshwick. The All Bids warehouse is the larger, grey and white rectangular building at bottom left.

The trucks will travel down Wiluna Street to the facility’s Lithgow Street entrance, and exit via Ipswich Street.

Mr Evans suggested there were other sites further down the rail track toward Queanbeyan that would be more preferable and have less impact, although the present site is next to joint venture partner Access Recycling and a separate development application has already been lodged for the rail freight terminal.

He said the traffic impact was clearly going to be detrimental and threatened his business on that site.

“There is no way I could operate my business here, with that kind of traffic. I have mums and dads backing trailers out on a regular basis and it is already busy. You have every garbage truck in Canberra there every four minutes and it’s game over for my business,” he said.

Mr Evans said noise and odour were other concerns, despite reassurances from the EIS and plans by CRS to build a 2.7 metre high noise fence along the southern boundary between the plant and ALLBIDS.

“I’ve got people inspecting antiques one metre away from where they are going to be dumping waste,” he said.

The EIS says odour would be minimal due to the fully enclosed nature of the plant but Mr Evans questioned why the Government would consider such a noxious development in an area that was mainly light industry, mixed use, and even some residential.

Mr Evans said his and other business needed more time and assistance to comb through the whole statement.

“It’s another example of the Government trying to rush something through,” he said. “It’s a stop-gap solution.”

Inner South Canberra Community Council Chair Marea Fatseas said the EIS was a ‘massive number of documents’ and it was a lot to expect communities to get to grips within 30 days.

One resident told her she was advised that a hard copy from Purdon would cost her $100.

She said the EIS also came in somewhat of a policy vacuum as the community still waited on the release of the Waste Feasibility Study that was due out for consultation last month.

“That provides an important policy framework for any consideration of any specific proposal for waste to energy, and even though this group is saying they no longer propose to do that they still would have the possibility of doing it as a stage two,” she said.

A spokesperson for Minister for Planning Mick Gentleman said the public consultation period has already been extended beyond the minimum requirement by 10 working days to allow the public additional time to consider the draft EIS documents.

The spokesperson said the Government did not consider alternative sites as CRS approached it with their plans for a waste transfer station.


To view the draft EIS go here.

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Capital Retro9:47 am 07 May 18

If the government goes ahead with this plan: https://www.smh.com.au/national/act/bioenergy-offers-a-solution-for-dealing-with-canberras-waste-20140307-34d5g.html the whole Fyshwick proposal will collapse.

Ipswich St is already a congested carpark, more so since the Cessnock St extension and new precinct west of Gladstone St was built. The last thing we need is more trucks making it even worse.

I hope this facility gets up, even just so the isccc can be put in their place. 25 nimbies who think they represent the inner south’s 25,000 residents. The rest of us are not wealthy retired public servants with heaps of time on our hands, trying to freeze Canberra in 1964. We’re all far more worried with real concerns like commuting, property prices, schools… things the isccc is silent about.

Don’t worry it probably will, because (lower) Narrabundah has one of the highest public housing percentages and the long term residents are mainly working class. (Check out the ‘high’ class housing along Canberra Avenue and the parallel streets if you think we are rich NIMBIES.) So we don’t rate that highly. They took our bus away; we were not ‘important’ enough to retain it. I doubt we will be regarded seriously enough to stop this.

Capital Retro9:59 am 06 May 18

Because of the inversion layers extending from Majura to the bottom of the Tuggeranong Valley, the odours and any fugitive emissions created from any activity involved with waste disposal will pose a problem for residents in that footprint. The number of people involved is closer to 100,000.

Sometimes, even combusted jet fuel emissions from Canberra Airport can be detected in parts of Tuggeranong. The EPA is in denial that there is any problem.

Capital Retro10:35 am 06 May 18

Sounds like Labor heartland to me. So , what are your local members doing about it?

Given the bus service withdrawal it would appear you goose is cooked. But you will all still vote Labor at the next election, won’t you?

If any of that comment was for me, I haven’t put a major party at the top of my vote in any election for some time, as I am disillusioned with both major choices. Not the same smaller party each time either.

Got any actual evidence or modelling that shows any air pollution limits being breached?

“Detecting” something in the air is meaningless, it’s the amounts that matter.

Capital Retro2:56 pm 07 May 18

Do you have any evidence or modelling that says air pollution limits are not being breached?
Remember the tests that were successfully carried out to ban wood heaters in the Tuggeranong Valley?

There are other places for this, such as off Underwood Street, or the industrial site near that. Across the railway line from Underwood Street is more industrial area, not immediate residential. The old rail line also goes past Hume. Could not Hume, which is further away from residential, be considered?

I’m confused, is one truck every four minutes supposed to be a lot?

Sounds tiny.

Except it won’t be one truck every four minutes – that’s the average over the day. It’s more likely to be no trucks for long periods followed by a traffic jam. It all depends on the collection schedule.

Even better then.

So there’ll be a short period of heavier traffic, followed by nothing, sounds reasonable.

I have more traffic on my residential street in a few hours than they are talking for the whole day. The traffic issue is a massive beat-up.

Unless I am mistaken aren’t these trucks already going towards Mugga Lane already? In which case I don’t think i have ever seen that many trucks out there.

Also it would seem the figures of one every 4 minutes has already factored in the fact they won’t be running overnight. The number quoted is 230 per day which is 9.58 per hour, rounded up that’s one every 6 minutes when spread out over a full 24 hour period. But one every 4 minutes works out to be spread over 15 hours.

Capital Retro8:44 am 04 May 18

According to ACT NoWaste the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre has a design capacity of approximately 10 million cubic metres. The current rate of waste to landfill sits at approximately 250,000 tonnes per year, taking the site’s design capacity to around the year 2057 and potentially later depending on any decisions made by the ACT Government following the Waste Feasibility Study.

The ACT government has spent millions of dollars acquiring land around the MLRMC so why on earth would they consider transferring waste to another facility?

Typical bait and switch propose stupid idea and then drop it for what they wanted all along.

Have seen this time and time again with building heights /size / shape.

Who said they are considering it?

From what I read the government is considering the proposal from a planning perspective which they need to do for anyone who puts forward a planning proposal.

What happens after that would be the subject of the contracts they already have for waste collection and disposal which run for another 5 years.

“remaining waste will be shipped by rail in containers to the Woodlawn Bioreactor landfill at Tarago.”

Capital Retro3:40 pm 06 May 18

As much as I hate to say it, it doesn’t make any sense to have a waste incinerator anywhere in Canberra other than the MLRMC. That’s where the existing waste management infrastructure is and if a decision were made tomorrow it would take 5 years to construct and commission it so that takes care of the existing waste collection contracts. The proposal to have one built at Fyshwick has already been rejected but one at the MLRMC is still on the table with other options. Also, ActewAGL were to be a partner in the Fyshwick one so they will already have a foot in the door with anything the ACT government decides to do.

These waste to power incinerators have a huge capital outlay and need to be fed around the clock which often means garbage has to be “imported” from other cities. This could be avoided at the MLRMC as there is already a lot of buried garbage their which could be “mined”; yes, it sounds repugnant and it is. A positive move would be to flare in the incinerator the land fill gas that currently supplies diesel generators emitting the exhaust equivalent of 24 large B-doubles running perpertually.
Add those constant emissions to the 20 pieces of machinery and other trucks that operate most days at the MLRMC and the dust and odour that is generated which is a latent problem that no one wants to talk about. A waste incinerator would do away with most of the trucks and machinery currently being operated there.

I know it sounds stupid to most people but so did the not-needed light rail and looked what the government did there. They also said a crematorium would not be constructed in the MLRMC area but they have back-flipped on that one to.

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