Community & Business

7 September, 2023

$1m weighbridge a must to meet State waste rules

A WEIGHBRIDGE costing more than $1 million will be established at the Alcatraz landfill so Tablelands Regional Council can meet State regulations.

$1m weighbridge a must to meet State waste rules - feature photo

The weighbridge will be constructed at the Innot Hot Springs facility for $1.05 million to meet council’s obligations under the State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 which requires all waste disposal sites to have a weighbridge installed by 1 July 2024 if they handle more than 2000 tonnes a waste a year.

The Alcatraz landfill site currently has an Environment Authority to receive between 2,000 and 5,000 tonnes of waste a year.

“With the commencement of the kerbside collection contract in November 2023 and the associated transport of waste to Alcatraz from the southern region of TRC, more than 2,000 tonnes will be delivered to the landfill each year,” a report to council stated.

Cr Annette Haydon wanted to ascertain whether construction of the weighbridge was the best decision economically for the council.

“Does the cost of utilising the weighbridge outweigh the cost of transporting waste to Springmount (landfill), especially if Millaa Millaa waste is not transferred to Alcatraz?” she asked.

Water and Waste manager Bruce Gardiner said the best decision for council from a financial perspective was to construct the weighbridge.

“Over the life of the kerbside collection contract, the disposal costs of the waste from the southern area going to Springmount would far exceed to the cost of the weighbridge – about double approximately,” he answered.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Cardew also lamented the cost of installing the weighbridge but acknowledged there was no choice.

“A million dollars for a weighbridge at our transfer stations is a lot of money in my mind,” he said.

“I know that because of legislation that we’ve got to have it - it’s a requirement that has to be done by a certain time, so we’ve got to do it.

“I guess the comforting point is that if we ever closed Alcatraz that the weighbridge is able to be  sold or moved somewhere else?”

Water and waste manager Bruce Gardiner confirmed it could be relocated to another site if it was still in good working order at that time.

He also advised that council had been successful in obtaining a State grant from Round 3 of the Levy Ready grant program.

“At the time, the cost estimate was $800,000 for the weighbridge and we have been allocated 62% of that which is $490,310 – unfortunately tenders came in higher than that,” Mr Gardiner said.

A report to council also notes that officers reviewed the design of the weighbridge to see if any cost savings could be achieved but no substantial cost saving measures were able to be identified.

“The design is considered relatively basic and does not include any additional elements that are not considered essential for the ongoing operations of the weighbridge in this remote location,” the report states.

“The installation of solar panels and a generator were investigated and discounted due to the cost being almost the same as mains power and the operational issues and likelihood of theft due to the remote location.

“The project includes the provision of power to the existing transfer station building which is currently powered using solar panels and a battery arrangement.

“These solar panels and battery will be relocated to the Yungaburra Waste Transfer Station and replace the ageing assets there which represents a cost saving to council.”


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