11 August 2020

Recycling partner blasts inner south's waste nimbies, DA imminent

| Ian Bushnell
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The landfill problem that government wants to solve. Adam Perry says CRS can be part of the solution. Photo: File.

The Canberra partner involved in the Fyshwick recycling proposal has blasted opposition to the plans as classic nimbyism, as he revealed a development application was only weeks away.

Capital Recycling Solutions’ Adam Perry also welcomed government moves for a food waste collection and composting scheme, saying it will enhance the operations of the proposed plant in Ipswich Street.

Mr Perry said the launch of a major campaign against the proposal by the Inner South Canberra Community Council and the Fyshwick Business Association was frustrating and claimed opposition was not as great as was being made out.

”We’re trying to provide a solution to a problem that the government asked industry to provide a solution to,” he said. ”We didn’t initiate this process. It began in 2014 with the Waste Feasibility Study.”

READ MORE Labor pledges to establish food recycling service, free green bins by 2023

Mr Perry said analysis of the 440 DA submissions, not all of which were negative, showed that there were only between 50 to 60 real objections, with some households and individuals making multiple objections.

”They don’t speak for everybody and don’t represent the large amount of people that they claim to,” Mr Perry said.

He criticised the ISCCC for a lack of genuine, constructive engagement, saying that he had been contacted by some members concerned at the stand.

“It is just classic nimbyism from them, from these retired public servants with too much time on their hands,” Mr Perry said.

He also sought to put an end to claims that CRS would be importing waste from NSW to feed the Fyshwick plant, calling it scaremongering.

”It makes absolutely no sense economically. It’s not in any of our proposals to do that and I don’t know why they want to keep throwing it up. It’s absurd,” Mr Perry said.

READ ALSO Inner south groups, Fyshwick businesses declare war on waste plans

He said the food waste scheme, to be trialled next year and expanded city-wide by 2023, would make CRS’s job easier and boost recovery rates.

”We’d rather not handle [food waste]. If that is stripped out of the waste stream that’s fantastic … because the recycling content in that wasn’t there anyway,” Mr Perry said.

”When we send the train to Woodlawn with rubbish on it that costs us a lot of money. We’d rather not put stuff in landfill, we’d rather recycle as much as we can.”

It would also allay any concerns about odour and vermin, although the nature of the proposed facility meant those issues would not be a problem, he said.

Capital Recycling Solutions' proposed Material Resource Facility

Capital Recycling Solutions’ proposed Material Resource Facility and freight terminal in Ipswich Street. Image: CRS.

Mr Perry said the DA would show better recycling recovery rates than the original proposal three years ago due to technology advances spurred by the Chinese ban on waste imports.

The plant would now deploy more efficient sorting and shredding equipment that would result in much more material recovered for recycling than the 20 per cent originally thought.

Mr Perry said CRS would continue to engage with the community but many of the issues, such as odour control and traffic management, had been addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement which the government had accepted.

”The government has accepted the mitigation strategies that we propose to employ will be successful, so we don’t need to go over them any more. The DA is pretty simple,” he said.

But he remains puzzled that proposing an industrial activity in an industrial suburb such as Fyshwick should be controversial.

He said the ACT still had very low rates of recycling and one of the highest landfill rates per capita of all the capital cities.

At Mugga Lane, 250,000 tonnes of rubbish a year was deposited on the side of a hill and residents in suburbs such as Macarthur endure the smell whenever the wind is blowing in their direction.

”Nobody is doing anything about that,” he said.

”I can’t understand why there is a handful of people jumping up and down about this [the CRS proposal]. They really should stand down at Mugga Lane and have a look there. Do you really want to continue this Mugga Lane practice well into the future?”

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ACT resident7:23 pm 12 Aug 20

(continued)… Regional agreements such as the $21million upgrade to the Hume Recycling Facility are made between Councils and the ACT Government. Neither CRS deals nor the other Fyshwick waste hub proponent, Hi Qual’s deals, are in the spirit of regional co-operation. Hi Qual’s handling of 1.3million tpa to include hazardous fly ash and asbestos as well as drilling mud and tyres has around half of the vehicles generated to be coming from its own Windellama landfill. There exists in NSW a proximity principle that waste cannot be transported by road more than 150km except under some circumstances, which include if waste is going to a recycling/processing facility such as Hi Qual proposes for Fyshwick next to the Molonglo River. Why not use the Windellama site? EIS201900001 is open for representation until 17 September. Shuffling waste around in those big trucks will not be great for our net zero emissions or for Climate Change aspirations. Only reducing our consumption of materials and energy can do that. Yet here we have two major waste hubs proposed for our beloved Fyshwick, where people like to go and contribute to the 2.3billion annual Fyshwick economy. CRS and Hi Qual will be trucking some 1.6million tpa of what is now landfill waste through all the streets of Fyshwick. Minister Gentleman had the option to call for an independent expert panel of inquiry into the CRS EIS201700053. Many of the 464 representations and the 90 attendees at an ISCCC Forum called for that. He chose not to. Minister Gentleman had the option to present the EIS to the Assembly. He chose not to. Go for it ACTPLA and polies so we can all go hell for leather with consuming more and more and more while these companies make more and more and more at our expense.

ACT resident7:23 pm 12 Aug 20

In 2014 Minister Corbell’s media release invited waste to energy with thermal conversion. CRS was established several weeks later and Adam Perry’s 2015 bid for a direct sale from government said the terminal would have the capacity to handle all of Canberra’s waste streams. Then Benedict, the joint partner in CRS, had planned, as revealed in it’s 2017 newsletter to rail freight waste from Sydney to incinerate at Fyshwick too. It takes many mountains of waste to feed such a beast. When, around Nov 2017, Rattenbury announced the feed in Tariff was used up, ActewAGL because of this and seeing the burning at Fyshwick was on the nose, walked away. Also, the Greens holding the balance of power came out strongly against WtE. CRS were reluctant to let go and the company’s application for an ACTPLA Scoping Document clearly stated their intention of a second EIS process for the Waste to Energy incinerator. CRS then brokered a deal with Veolia Woodlawn to receive landfill waste from Fyshwick (some 270,000tpa). Perry can’t think we all should be paying more for rail just for what ends up 5% recycling benefit for the ACT. FOI docs reveal Perry met with ACT Nowaste in 2018 seeking the future FOGO. From the start, Perry said that CRS will undercut Government prices to get commercial waste in Canberra. But we still don’t generate enough waste. Where will the waste be sourced?(to be continued)….

Marea Fatseas4:37 pm 12 Aug 20

Essentially, 80 percent will still go to landfill under this proposal, which is not a great outcome.

Capital Retro7:04 pm 12 Aug 20

Did you actually read the notes on that ABS link, Marea?

Sure, it says 56 people live in Fyshwick but there are only 5 private dwellings with 2 persons per dwelling so only 10 people live in “houses” there. Your guess is as good as mine as to where the other 46 live but isn’t the census about where people were on the night of the census? I am aware that there are refuges and rehabilitation facilities around that area so people there and ones in brothels probably were the others.

How many of them are activists in this matter that will be directly affected by the development and are known to you?

ODOUR….Important to note , 16 Ipswich Street is a former Shell Fuel receiving and storage site.
It is contaminated due to known subterranean petrol

EIS No: 201900001
BLOCKS: 8 and 12 SECTION: 28 DIVISION:Fyshwick
An Arup EIS related report * released this week mentions underlining Petrol.

PP4 /118
That there is petrol underneath the site, which if disturbed, may spread or it may affect the health of contractors and staff. While there are appropriate measures to prevent this from happening, the assessment did not fully appreciate that the main building would be enclosed to stop odours, and therefore petrol fumes (vapours), from escaping.
* Arup EIS related report https://www.planning.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/1567938/Appendix-4-Independent-review-ARUP-Report-alias2.pdf

Waste sites are prone to fire.
A DA approval combining the two Hazards may have a blast radius of hundreds of meters one might say …should a fire trigger an explosion.

Capital Retro3:19 pm 12 Aug 20

“Waste sites are prone to fire”

Thank you simm for posting this revelation.

I have asked several times on RiotAct as to why the ACT government minister responsible waived the necessity for an EIS on the joint venture between the same government and a local composter. The huge residential development at Ginninderry Village is sited on an area containing known and unknown landfills. There are subsequently known and unknown pockets of methane gas which, like the subterranean petrol at the former Shell depot at Fyshwick, could be a latent time bomb. I also said the waiving of the EIS could be a conflict of interest.

Unwittingly perhaps, but the absence of the Ginninderry EIS has also set a precedent so the petrol vapour hazards at Fyshwick cannot be now considered as a reason to reject the re-development application for the Fyshwick site.

Who could forget what happened in Victoria about 10 years ago?:

It is really just a Waste Tipping Hub (TIP) proposed in the wrong location … that being a populated built up area on a congested busy Ipswich St.!
Besides …..
RYCYCLABLES will no longer be passed off to neighbouring country’s (and oceans..) From July 2020, glass waste will be Banned from Export, followed by the banned export of mixed waste plastics the following year and tyres in December 2021. All remaining waste products, including mixed paper and cardboard, will be banned from export no later than June 30, 2022.

Capital Retro9:56 am 12 Aug 20

It may be a populated built up area around Ipswich Street but no one lives in Fyshwick. Accordingly, the proposed development does not create a social disamenity.

Nearby residential suburbs are well outside the distance limits set out in the EPA guidelines.

Last ABS census 2016 had 56 FYSHWICK residents. Many leases also have provision for Caretakers residence. I believe even the CRS Proposal for Ipswich st makes mention of a caretakers residence.

Marea Fatseas1:31 pm 12 Aug 20

Capital Retro – Incorrect. According to 2016 census, 56 people live in Fyshwick, 80 percent male and 20 percent female, median age 42. See https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/SSC80059

Capital Retro3:24 pm 12 Aug 20

Good point.

I am not aware of any residential houses in “downtown” Fyshwick. There are a lot of sex workers in Fyshwick and many of them live in the brothels they work in. The distinction I made was comparing industrial suburbs with residential ones.

David Riddell6:57 pm 11 Aug 20

Agree. However regardless of where the odour originates Mugga’s capacity is not without limit and as obtaining permission to build another landfill will, I imagine be difficult to say the least, new facilities to manage the Territory’s waste may need to be constructed. Hopefully new technologies will go someway in mitigating the issue of odour of these imagined facilities.

Capital Retro8:06 am 12 Aug 20

Are you suggesting that while there would be difficulty getting permission in locating and establishing another landfill in Canberra there is no problem in setting up another waste disposal solution if it is a “new technology” ? Composting isn’t a technology and the only solution to managing the odour problem is to ensure that the facility is located well away from residential areas.

I don’t think the founders of the compost farm at MLRMC ever envisaged it would grow so large and the regulators have been complicit in allowing that to happen.

The bureaucrats apparently condone the odour because it is a “green” industry so how about it is relecated to Namadgi National Park?

“and the only solution to managing the odour problem is to ensure that the facility is located well away from residential areas.”

Capital Retro,

This is just simply incorrect.

Waste facilities have numerous ways of controlling odour, from simple good management practices through to active controls like what has been identified for this CRS facility in their EIS.

David Riddell11:27 am 12 Aug 20

Chewy totally agree with your comment Windowing close to residential areas bad, in vesell composting inside enclosed a building with appropriate environmental controls can be located closer to the source of the waste material. FYI not suggesting next door to a residential area but certainly not a national Park.

Capital Retro7:57 pm 12 Aug 20

I have clearly stated on other threads that the operation of the waste landfill at the MLRMC is odourless.

The ongoing odour problem there is from composting only. These ventures should be well away from residential areas.

Capital Retro11:28 am 16 Aug 20

The odour at MLRMC is not coming from waste, it’s coming from composting.

Go and check it out.

Capital Retro5:02 pm 11 Aug 20

Mr Perry has got it wrong about the source of the smell from the MLRMC. It’s not from the tip face at the landfill and it never has been as the garbage is covered immediately it is deposited.

In 2012, it was necessary to expose the buried garbage deliberately and people in the adjoining suburbs were warned to expect frequent odour releases and indeed they did. That is the last time that happened. The current land fill contractors do a first class job.

The smell, as anyone who frequently visits the MLRMC knows, comes from the “green” industrial size, open air compost operation there.

After the windrows are disturbed or when trucks are loaded with the stuff the odour is then distributed in all directions by air currents below the permanent inversion layer over most of Canberra. It is not detected when the wind is blowing.

Perhaps the ACT government could do another joint venture with the operators of the compost business and move it somewhere else – out Gininderry way perhaps or even to Ipswich Street in Fyshwick?

Unless it has closed there is already a green waste compost facility like you mention at Parkwood ((Gininderry) and there is also one at Mitchell across the road from Franklin.

Capital Retro3:29 pm 12 Aug 20

I am unsure as to the status of those two compost sites but they are like “hobby ventures” when compared with the one at the MLRMC.

I was being sarcastic about the sites I nominated because that is how farcical the situation has become. Hopefully, a newly established agency at Kingston will be looking at it.

“psychological” impacts of odour.

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