THERE was a strong sense of angst from the community about the proposed organic recycling facility, as council staff came face to face with concerned community members on Thursday.
There were about 50 people at the community centre as Tamworth Regional Council and its environmental consultant, Jessica Berry, took a slew of questions lobbed at them about the Gidley Road site.
Their concerns were extensive and wide-ranging, covering smell, water contamination, biosecurity, sensitive Aboriginal sites and traffic.
The potential for smells to waft from the site, where offal and paunch from the abattoirs will be composted if its goes ahead, was a big sticking point for the attendees.
Many of whom seemed unconvinced by the council's modelling to-date with some suggesting strong winds would carry the odour all the way to Forest Hills and the Windmill Hill estates.
A recent report by A Current Affair which outlined problems faced by residents near an organic recycling facility in Lake Macquarie had also stirred some concern.
Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) waste director Bruce Logan said that facility was somewhat different to the Gidley proposal.
He said Lake Macqaurie's facility didn't have an enclosed receiving shed and its product was only "pasteurised" for 14 days, as opposed to the 28-day period TRC has proposed.
Potential for water contamination and biosecurity threats for nearby farms were huge concerns as well.
Residents feared a huge rain event could wash potential contaminants into the Peel River and privately accessed wells on properties in the area.
Ms Berry said the site would have a leachate dam on site, as well as overflow dams and tanks, to catch run off in the event of a one-in-100 year flood.
While the council doesn't have the final say on whether the facility goes ahead and its development application was yet to be lodged, staff were queried on the suitability of the site.
One community member said the development wouldn't be suitable in the current rural zoning of the area, claiming "heavy storage establishments and industrial stockpiling" was prohibited in these areas.
The claim was dismissed by Mr Logan.
"Would the council waste its time and considerable money, if we felt we would fall at the first hurdle, which is 'is it permitted under the zone'," he said.
"We deal with this everyday and believe, despite your concerns, it is permitted under the zone."