Tamworth Regional Council has begun work on its latest plan to make the region more sustainable, announcing a new organic recycling facility.
Funded in part by a $1.35m state government grant, the facility will extend the life of the Tamworth tip and allow council to process up to 32,000 tonnes of organic waste per annum.
Council’s water and waste manager Dan Coe said the design and planning had already started for the 10-hectare site on Duri-Wallamore Rd.
“Currently, council processes approximately 15,000 tonnes per annum of green waste at our Forest Road waste management facility, but it is operating close to capacity,” said Mr Coe.
“The proposed facility increases our capacity by up to 10,000 tonnes per annum, as well as providing the ability to process what are called Category 3 waste items including food and garden waste, animal mortalities, offal from local industry and commercial timber waste.
“We expect in the first year of operations to process about 23,000 tonnes.”
Mayor Col Murray said council had focused on becoming more sustainable during the last few years and the “rubber was starting to hit the road”.
When he first became a councillor more than 12 years ago, Cr Murray was advised the tip had a 30-year life expectancy.
“Here we are 12 years later and the waste management facility has a life expectancy of 35 years,” Cr Murray said.
“There's always been a struggle through lack of physical space at the Forest Road waste management facility, so this new facility will help ease that.”
Once the new organic facility is up and running, council will consider allowing residents to put food scraps into their green bin instead of the red bin.
“Rather than putting organic matter into the landfill, we can take it out here, turn it into compost and that compost can be used in gardens or in agriculture,” Mr Coe said. “The end product will be a range of organic products including soil conditioner, fine mulch and composted mulch for use by local businesses and industry.”