A FORMER Mount Alexander Shire councillor has slammed the council’s handling of waste management, claiming cost blowouts of the new cell at Castlemaine landfill could have been avoided.
Tony Bell, who resigned from the council last October during a row over flying rainbow flags, said the cell was close to capacity 2.5 years after completion, despite having a minimum life of four years.
He said the issue was a result of a failure to use local contractors.
“This company had local knowledge and were well aware of what was required to build the new cell, as they had built several of the previous cells,” Mr Bell said.
“Now we have our new cell at capacity in 2.5 years.
“This is due to council not having a rubbish compactor at the landfill, as the previous contractor supplied. This new cell is now like a sponge as it has not been compacted from the bottom up, airspace lost.”
Related: Where next for Bendigo’s waste?
The cell cost $3.39 million to design, construct, audit and commission. Mr Bell claimed the original cost was $1.7 million.
Veolia started its waste collection contract in Mount Alexander Shire earlier this month.
Mount Alexander Shire acting director infrastructure and development Ben Grounds confirmed the final cost figures, and said regional waste solutions were being sought.
”It was opened in October 2015 and is not yet full,” he said.
“Cell 4 cost $3.39 million to design, construct, audit and commission. The construction component of the project cost $2.16 million.
“Mount Alexander Shire Council is working with other councils to improve waste services for our community. We are a member of the Regional Waste Management Forum.”
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria