New plant is waste winner
Have you ever wondered where the rubbish in your bin goes after it is collected from the front of your house?
It goes to the “tip” — properly called the Seven Mile Landfill Facility.
Just south of the Gap Ridge Industrial Estate, the City of Karratha tip covers a large area and is comprised of cells — holes in the ground — which we gradually fill with our recyclable waste.
The City of Karratha spends large amounts on waste management.
It is one of our primary tasks and part of this involves the development, maintenance and closure of our landfill cells.
Our tip currently has an estimated 20-year life before it will be full and we need to look elsewhere for space to dump our rubbish.
However, if the New Energy plant in Port Hedland goes ahead, which will incinerate all burnable waste, our pit life will be extended substantially — for 70 or more years.
Development of the cells, which involves digging the hole and lining it preparatory to use, is expensive. We plan to start the next cell in 2017 and this will cost nearly $3 million.
When a cell is full, we need to cap it off to minimise water ingress, keep the odour in and render the area safe and sterile.
This costs a similar amount to the actual pit development.
To manage the tip until the end of its life, in about 2037, will cost about $37 million, or just under $2 million a year on average.
If the New Energy plant proceeds, the annual cost will be less than $500,000 a year.
This would be a great cost saving to ratepayers and is far better environmentally.