After 27 years, trash talks end on rocky ground
SINCE 1998, roughly 54 sites have been considered as replacements for the Lakes Creek Rd Landfill.
These have all been thrown in the scrap heap, but it seems Rockhampton Regional Council may have finally found a winner in option number 55.
The business enterprise committee yesterday unanimously agreed to recommend a planned $28.9million "Piggy Back Expansion" of the existing Lakes Creek Rd Landfill to council.
Councillor Neil Fisher told the meeting this option had only become viable after the introduction of new technology roughly three years ago.
The two options presented to council yesterday, the Lakes Creek Rd expansion and a Joint Refuse Disposal Project with Gladstone Regional Council, were the result of an extensive 18-month investigation.
As well as agreeing to adopt expansion of the Lakes Creek Rd site, council carried a motion to continue discussion of a collaborative long-term approach to waste disposal with Gladstone.
The resolution brought an end to years of council research and speculation about a regional "super dump".
Since investigations into a replacement for the Lakes Creek Rd site began in 1998, council has examined 54 sites, alternate waste technologies and disposal facilities outside the region.
Before de-amalgamation, Rockhampton Regional Council had proposed landfill sites at Hedlow, Thompson Point and an expanded Yeppoon dump.
The current Lakes Creek Rd site is expected to be at capacity by late 2016, but its lifespan can potentially be extended by up to 24 years with the proposed expansion.
Plans for the four-stage expansion show a total volume of about 2.1 million cubic metres could be created, with the first capable of holding 180,000 cubic metres.
The first cell is expected to take a year to design, construct and commission, with a price tag of just over $4.1million.
The total cost of the project is expected to be just over $28.9million.
This figure proved to be more cost effective than transporting waste to the Benaraby landfill in conjunction with Gladstone.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said it had been a "long and difficult journey to get to this point".
"I think the long-term is still something collaborative across the region," she said.
"Twenty years is not long in this game."
Cr Fisher said he had "nothing but praise for the way both parties (Rockhampton and Gladstone councils) have worked together".
"The use of the waste transfer station will assist in achieving further compaction before being transferred to the cell, and ultimately extend the life of the new piggy back cells," he said.