New plant is waste win­ner

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Peter Long Peter Long is the City of Kar­ratha Mayor.

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.

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