TAMWORTH Regional Council is still more than two years away from establishing an organic waste recycling and food scrap collection service.
The council hit a major snag in its concerted push to run a more environmentally sustainable service when its proposed $5 million organics recycling plant was scuttled with concerns raised about its potential proximity to the airport.
The DA for the plant was withdrawn as the council looked for a new home.
Councillors will meet on Tuesday where they will be urged to vote in favour of extending the council's current waste collection contract with Cleanaway to June 2021.
If the motion is supported it could mean Tamworth and the surrounding villages won't have a food waste collection service implemented for at least two years.
Last May, the council voted in favour of a 12-month extension on Cleanaway's initial 10-year deal which expires in 2019.
"This allowed for the potential for further consideration of the ORF (organic recycling facility) project with a view to potentially having the development established on an alternate site," waste director Bruce Logan's report said.
"To date, work has continued on the ORF project to find a suitable alternate site and processing methodology, however council has not, as yet, resolved to continue with the project to implementation."
The ongoing effort to find a suitable location has essentially set the project back two years, as the report to councillors stated: "had the development proceeded, it would have been commissioned in time to commence the receiving of FOGO (food organics/garden organics) material following on from the original waste collection contract expiry date of June 30, 2019".
The council has already exercised one extension allowed in the contract with Cleanaway and there is no option to add on a further year. The council has been urged to take the unconventional step of not tendering for the contract due to extenuating circumstances, which is permitted in the Local Government Act.
The need for the contractor to transition FOGO collection as part of the kerbside service potentially 12 months into the contract was listed as the main factor.
If supported, Cleanaway would be paid $4.3 million for the 12-month deal.