THE Goulburn tip could be receiving asbestos affected building material from Yass over the next month.
The Department of Education is yet to decide where up to 2000 cubic metres of waste will go, but Goulburn Mulwaree is at the ready.
Yass Valley Council approached its northern neighbour following a fire which destroyed the industrial arts section of its high school last month.
The blaze caused millions of dollars worth of damage.
One of the council’s usual disposal sites at Murrumbateman does not have the capacity to accept the waste, operations director Simon Cassidy said.
Yass was also in a quandary about disposal of up to 500 tonnes of putrescible waste. It initially asked for Goulburn’s help but Mr Cassidy said since then, the private operators of a Jugiong landfill have since negotiated a licence extension, allowing its dumping.
But the building material remains a problem. Mayor Geoff Kettle said Goulburn had the capacity and licences to accept the construction material. He asked councillors to waive its current policy of not accepting waste from other local government areas, given the urgency and public risk of leaving the asbestos unmanaged.
“They don’t have anywhere to dispose of it and we’ve decided we could accept it on a commercial basis in the interests of being a good neighbour,” he said.
The mayor told the meeting that one never knew when Council would have to rely on Yass or another LGA for help.
The Education Department confirmed the material was in a subcontractor’s possession.
“(The department) has been provided with a clearance confirming the safety of the site and that airmonitoring and samples are clear of asbestos,” a spokesperson said. The building material is expected to reap $20,000 if it comes to Goulburn.
Engineering services manager Terry Cooper said this money could be used on a closure plan for the Goulburn tip or on waste management initiatives. The local landfill is estimated to have another 20 years’ life.
A waste management project team will be formed next year to look at these issues.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, councillors put the final touches on a recycling contract negotiated with Endeavour Industries a year ago.
The closed committee session endorsed the five-year agreement from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017, with an option to extend for a further five years, subject to both parties’ approval.
Councillors also allocated an additional $35,000 to the contract to take account of inflation and several new services, general manager Chris Berry said.
These include an e-waste collection, Christmas/New Year recycling collections and weekly recycling collections from the waste management centre.
Residents will be kept informed of the changes.
Endeavour Industries is hoping to relocate from its Oxley St premises to the old Heggies depot in Sinclair St. It is lodging a development application, which will require an environmental impact study and Sydney Catchment Authority approval.
Asked whether Council would consider disposal of putrescibles waste at the Woodlawn bioreactor in the longer term, Mr Berry said this had to be one of the options.
“We can’t ignore that in our backyard,” he said.
“But there are a few options there, one of which could be sending some waste to Woodlawn and some to our local tip in order to extend its life.”
A recently finalised regional waste strategy is very much focused on minimisation and Council says this will mean extending recycling programs, more composting and other initiatives.