The ACT Government is looking to ramp up waste services in Canberra’s booming northern suburbs, including new waste facilities, greater recycling and the adoption of new technologies.
Transport Canberra and City Services has issued a tender for a consultant to conduct a feasibility study into upgrades to the Mitchell Resource Management Centre and investigate other potential waste sites in the inner north, Gungahlin and Belconnen, where population growth will drive a need for new services.
Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction Chris Steel told Region Media that the study would be the first step in the strategic approach to waste management services across Canberra being developed by ACT NoWaste, which manages domestic waste services in the ACT.
He said the move was not connected to private waste processing and recycling proposals in Fyshwick being fielded by the government, although TCCS, through ACT NoWaste, is engaging with the proposals as they move through the planning system.
”Canberra is growing and we need to ensure our waste management infrastructure is accessible and appropriate to community requirements, and also look at avenues to maximise resource recovery,” he said.
The study will review existing waste infrastructure and services currently provided in north Canberra, including at the Mitchell RMC and assess additional possible sites for new facilities and provide preliminary designs, to ensure ”sustainable and appropriate” waste management services to the area.
Mr Steel said the government would look at all options to maximise recycling and achieve the ACT’s climate change target of zero-net emissions by 2045.
”The government is committed to better resource management practices and maximising resource recovery to achieve positive environmental outcomes, build the local circular economy and meet climate change targets,” he said.
The study would guide any necessary upgrades, the development of new facilities and the potential expansion of current services in line with population growth.
Mr Steel said the community would be kept informed and involved in the siting and development of any new facilities.
”The community is an essential partner in designing and implementing new facilities and services,” he said. “Any new infrastructure and upgrades to current facilities will involve community participation through the planning process.”
Mr Steel said Resource Management Centres, such as the one at Mitchell, provided a designated location to collect, sort and consolidate waste and recyclable materials, as well as diverting rubbish from landfill.
”Ensuring our waste management infrastructure is contemporary and able to incorporate emerging technologies will assist to achieve resource recovery targets and contribute to wider Government sustainability objectives,” Mr Steel said.
He said the tender was in line with the direction of ACT waste policy and to meet the resource recovery targets in the Waste Management Strategy 2011-2025.