A SOLUTION to Bendigo’s future waste problems could be found by mid-next year as the council prepares for the expected closure of Eaglehawk landfill in 2021.
The City of Greater Bendigo will begin work on a new waste strategy this year, working with other councils to guide the future of waste management in northern Victoria.
A range of options are being considered, with a priority placed on methods other than burying trash.
City of Greater Bendigo manager resource recovery and education Brooke Pearce said it needed to be carefully considered.
Related: Where next for Bendigo’s waste?
“The city is currently investigating options for when the Eaglehawk Landfill closes,” she said.
“The city will commence a new waste strategy before the end of the year which should be completed before the end of the current financial year.
“The waste and resource recovery industry has changed significantly and the city wants to ensure it puts in place measures that provide the best value and practices for the municipality.
“The city in collaboration with other central Victorian Councils also recently applied for a Victorian Government grant to assess the regions needs and waste tonnages.”
The council established a “waste facility” reserve in its budget, currently at $5.96 million, to aid in establishing a new facility once the Eaglehawk landfill closes.
The council incurred $3.7 million in unbudgeted costs in 2017/18 to cover fill at Eaglehawk due to an EPA levy for bringing cover into the site from outside. About 50,000 tonnes of waste was buried at the site in 2016.
But the council also collected $6.9 million in waste management services fees, a 7 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
It has budgeted to spend $2.2 million to transport waste away from Eaglehawk landfill in 2018.
A significant amount of Bendigo’s waste is taken to the Patho landfill near the New South Wales border, a site which only attracts half of the EPA levy.
Free green waste disposal at Eaglehawk and Heathcote
The council has introduced year-round free disposal of green waste at the Eaglehawk landfill and Heathcote Transfer Station.
City of Greater Bendigo presentation and assets director Debbie Wood said it was hoped the decision would improve safety ahead of the fire season.
“While residents are using their organics bins, this time of the year can cause many residents have excess green waste to get rid of,” she said.
“The fire danger period generally commences at the start of December subject to weather conditions and although that may seem a way off, it’s time to prepare for this around the home.
“Residents who take the time to keep their properties clear of vegetation will help minimise fire risk during the summer months and decrease the amount of work they need to do in the garden.”
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