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World class landfill secures Armidale region’s waste for 50 years

Proposed new charges and harmonisation for Waste Services

The new Waterfall Way Regional Landfill completed earlier this year will soon be operational.

The regional landfill, located 12 kms east of Armidale along Waterfall Way will operate alongside Council’s existing waste management facilities in Armidale and Guyra and is designed to accept up to 15,000 tonnes per annum of general solid waste. The new landfill is not open to the public. Waste will continue to be sorted through Armidale and Guyra’s waste management facilities to ensure Council maintains a high level of waste diversion from landfill through organics processing and sorting of recyclables.

General Manager Businesses Scot MacDonald said it has been a long road to developing the new regional landfill facility but absolutely necessary as the existing landfill cells in Armidale are at capacity and the Guyra landfill cells are in need of extensive rehabilitation to meet current environmental standards and have not been operational for many years.

“The new regional landfill on Waterfall Way will secure our waste management for years to come,” said Mr MacDonald.

“Our community expects a high standard of environmental management and Council has delivered a landfill that minimises the impact on the environment and meets current standards rigorously managed by the NSW Government.

40 sites were assessed over 10 years ago and the community made it very clear that the site must have minimal impact on the city and its inhabitants. The site, 12 kms from Armidale was finally selected as the most practical and with the best environmental outcomes.”

The Draft Operational Plan and Budget for the 2020/21 Financial Year is currently on exhibition. They include proposed changes to fees and charges including the harmonisation of charges within waste services to align both Armidale and Guyra residents and to introduce new charges for the operation of the new regional landfill.

Armidale residents have been paying a landfill levy for the $12m cost of constructing the new landfill for many years. It’s proposed that Guyra residents will now pay the $150 landfill levy and a new charge of $65 for the ongoing operational costs of the regional landfill will also be introduced to all ratepayers.

“The regional landfill will be servicing the entire Local Government Area and it’s important that all our waste service charges are harmonised and are fair and equitable for ratepayers,” said Mr MacDonald.

“This will mean an introduction of new charges, particularly in Guyra. However with further harmonisation of charges there is a reduction in some charges for Guyra residents that will go some way to offset the proposed new and increased charges.”

A harmonisation of the Rural Waste Management Charge from $56 in Guyra to $144 to align with Armidale and a reduction in the Residential Sewerage Service Access Fee from $627 in Guyra to the harmonised $465 in Armidale is also proposed.

“If you tally up the impact of harmonisation to Guyra residents of these major waste charges the most increase is $144 annually, for Armidale it is $65,” said Mr MacDonald.

“I completely understand that any increase in household budgets, particularly now is always difficult. This has been a necessary step to ensure we can continue to deliver essential services, maintain and upgrade waste services infrastructure, rehabilitate old landfills including Guyra and be fair and equitable to all ratepayers. It is also important to understand the new charge for operating the Water Way landfill is a direct consequence of additional conditions imposed by previous Councils including restrictions on truck movements and the requirement for all sorting to continue at the Long Swamp Road waste centre. ”

To review the Draft Operational Plan and Budget documents currently on Public Exhibition including the 20/21 Operational Plan, Revenue Policy, Fees and Charges and Resourcing Strategy (including the Budget and long-term financial plan, Asset Strategy and Workforce Management Plan 2018-2022) visit Council’s online engagement hub yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au

During the Public Exhibition period Council will be conducting a number of engagement sessions including webinars, pop-up sessions and village meetings across the Armidale region. Further information is available on the yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au website or by contacting customer service on 1300 136 833.

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