ASBESTOS and lithium will not be stored at the proposed Gunnedah Waste Facility on Torrens Road, if it is approved.
Proponent MacKellar Excavations made the decision to cut the two out of its plan for the resource recovery site, after locals raised numerous concerns about the potentially harmful nature of the materials.
Locals were informed of the change at a meeting at Emerald Hill Hall on Saturday, where the project and the Marys Mount Quarry Expansion were both discussed.
MacKellar Excavations general manager Tim MacKellar said descriptions of the project, such as "toxic waste dump", were far from accurate.
"It's not a dump ... its prime focus is to reclaim, reuse and recycle," Mr MacKellar said.
"The majority of this stuff goes to landfill. What we're proposing is very beneficial to the environment, which is taking these resources and putting them back into recirculation."
He said while locals were concerned about asbestos and lithium being processed at the facility, they were simply going to be held there before being transferred to a licensed facility after the limit was reached.
"That was encapsulated asbestos, it comes from a licensed remover, and is twice wrapped in plastic and sealed. We could receive 1000 tonnes maximum," he told the Leader.
"Lithium batteries was 500kg, or half a tonne maximum.
"The thing that surprised me with the commentary about lithium batteries is most people who posted things to social media would've been done on a personal device powered by lithium batteries.
"If there's such a concern, why do they have phones and tablets?"
Meeting attendees told the Leader they were disappointed Mr MacKellar didn't attend Saturday's meeting, but he said they hadn't been invited.
He said they would be planning community consultation sessions in the near future, so they could meet with concerned residents.
"We acknowledge the community's concerns and we're going to be proactive in putting sessions in place," Mr MacKellar said.
"We'll do our best to allay the fears they were perceiving that this development poses to them.
"The reality is, the population is growing, more waste is going to get generated and the upside is, we're much better processing and claiming out of it than sending it to landfill."
Locals meantime, said they plan to continue meeting to discuss the projects. Bob Ironmonger said they would be willing to hear from MacKellar Excavations.
"We're not close minded to what he has to say, but I think we have a heck of a lot of unanswered questions before we even think it's a good idea," he said.
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