Solid Waste Management
Prior to 2002, It was clear to Council that waste management within Dorset required review and widespread change. Issues that required attention included the following:
- Very poor environmental performance - Council operated 7 landfill sites scattered across the area (there were only 34 Council landfill sites in Tasmania at the time). The sites were unmanned, therefore uncontrolled disposal of waste occurred. The illegal dumping of hazardous waste was possible.
- Community dissatisfaction - Council surveys indicted community dissatisfaction with waste management services, particularly in relation to lack of recycling opportunities. The only recycling service provided by Council was a monthly collection of cardboard within the towns of Bridport and Scottsdale.
- Cross subsidies - Anecdotal evidence suggested residential rate payers were subsidising commercial and industrial waste generators in terms of waste disposal costs incurred by Council.
- Potential penalties and ongoing liability - The poor environmental performance of the landfill sites exposed the community to penalties and liability (eg statutory infringements, tip fires spreading, water contamination…etc)
The project involved the development and implementation of the Dorset Community Waste Minimisation and Management Strategy.
Council adopted the final draft of the strategy during December 2001, and the majority of the strategy recommendations were implemented during 2002/2003, including the following:
- Provision of fortnightly kerbside collection of rubbish and recyclables using mobile garbage bins and recycling crates. The service was provided to the towns of Branxholm, Bridport, Derby, Herrick, Legerwood, Nabowla, Pioneer, Ringarooma, Scottsdale, Tomahawk and Winnaleah.
- Construction and operation of three waste transfer stations located in Scottsdale, Branxholm and Gladstone. All transfer stations offer comprehensive recycling facilities.
- Introduction of waste disposal fees.
- Closure and commencement of rehabilitation of the seven landfill sites and three unmanned waste transfer stations.
- Provision of heavily subsidised compost bins and worm farms to the community.
The project has resulted in the community now having a waste management system that resembles best practice, is compatible with State and Federal government waste management strategies, and offers maximum opportunity for recycling and reuse. Examples include the following:
- Kerbside recycling of glass, aluminium, plastics (PET, PVC, HDPE), steel cans, newspaper, and cardboard.
- Free access to recycling facilities within the three waste transfer stations, catering for materials such as aluminium, plastics (PET, PVC, HDPE), steel cans, newspaper, and cardboard. Oil recycling receptacles are also available, as is bulk steel and aluminium recycling.
- Resource recovery centres (tip shops) are located at all waste transfer stations and are proving very popular with the public.
- The Drummuster program is being conducted at all waste transfer stations.
Non- recyclable waste is being disposed of at the Launceston Remount Road Refuse Disposal Site.
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