SIX companies have provided expressions of interest for the development of a multi-million dollar domestic waste processing facility in the Shoalhaven.
With the West Nowra landfill tip expected to be full by 2024, council asked companies to submit a process management plan to turn domestic food scraps and biodegradable products into usable compost which may be used to rehabilitate land.
Local firms Shoalhaven Recycling at Bomaderry and Soilco at Wogamia, along with current waste contract providers SITA Australia have submitted expressions of interest, as have AnaeCo Ltd from Bentley in Western Australia, Global Renewables Australia Pty Limited from Sydney and Veolia Environmental Services (Australia) Pty Ltd of Pyrmont.
In a report to council’s Policy and Resources Committee, Assets and Works director Ben Stewart said council’s only remaining mixed waste landfill site at West Nowra would be full within the next 10 years.
“Without an alternative landfill currently available it is necessary to preserve the landfill space at West Nowra by finding ways to recycle more waste,” he said.
“As a result council is investigating opportunities, through expert technology providers, to process domestic waste into usable products.
“All options provide for the treatment of organic wastes including food, garden vegetation, nappies, contaminated paper [and] cardboard.”
The financial impact to residents through changes to the domestic waste charge resulting from the successful tender will not be known until a final tender is accepted, however based on the information received to date the report said increases could range from nothing up to $30 per year above current rates.
“A detailed cost assessment will form part of the next stage of the tender submissions,” Mr Stewart said.
Council faces a rising Environment Protection Authority levy on waste dumped into landfill.
At present it costs council $107.80 per tonne of waste sent to landfill and is estimated to rise to $120 per tonne in 2014/15, and will continue to increase at above consumer price indexing levels annually until 2017/18, when it is then to be kept in line with an index.
The report said by using a processing option the cost to residents would be lower than the increase in domestic charge with no change to diversion rates from landfill.