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23 September 2013

Welcome to the September 2013 edition of the Byron Shire Council Waste E-news. This E-news aims to deliver the latest information regarding both the existing Myocum Waste and Recycling Facility and Proposed Myocum Quarry Landfill to subscribers.

Save the date - Upcoming Waste and Recycling public meeting

The next Byron Shire Waste and Recycling Public Meeting is planned for Thursday 7 November from 5 to 6pm, at Byron Shire Council (Station Street, Mullumbimby).

The session will include an update on the proposed Myocum Landfill Quarry, environmental programs and current operational and planning matters for the Shire’s waste services. The public meeting is an opportunity for community members to ask questions regarding the delivery of waste services in the Byron Shire. For more information please contact Council’s Capital Projects Officer, Michael Magalhaes, on 02 6626 7027 or michael.magalhaes@byron.nsw.gov.au.


First load of waste leaves Myocum Transfer Station

As discussed above, Council has upgraded the Myocum Waste and Recycling Facility Transfer Station to allow a move to waste transport and disposal operations. With the upgrade nearing completion, Council’s contractor, Veolia Environmental Services, was requested to transport the first load of waste from the site as a trial of the system prior to full implementation. A 100m3 walking floor waste transport truck arrived at the facility around 1pm on Monday 2 September 2013.

The truck was loaded under the supervision of Council staff and contractors to ensure that the trial ran smoothly and without incident. Just after 2pm the first load of waste left the Myocum Facility bound for a landfill in South East Queensland for disposal. The trial load was successful and a few minor adjustments to the transfer station and loading operations were identified; these will be implemented over the next few weeks prior to commencing waste transportation and disposal operations in full.


Proposed operational works – Myocum Waste and Recycling Facility Flare

Council is currently assessing tenders for a long term solution for landfill gas (LFG) collection and flaring. As outlined below in the Carbon Farming Initiative article, Council has been successful in gaining the relevant approvals and have been allocated Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

To ensure ongoing generation of ACCUs, Council needs to secure a long term arrangement for LFG collection and flaring. Tenders were called for the Hire or Purchase of a LFG Utilisation Plant (flare or engine) and the expansion of the LFG Collection System. The Contract will be in place for a minimum of 5 years with the option to extend for a further 5 one year periods, for a maximum term of 10 years. 

Tenders were received from companies that are highly experienced in the field of LFG collection and flaring and Council is undertaking the evaluation process to select a suitable contractor.

The community will be kept up to date on the progress of the tender award and the necessary works required at the site to transition to the long term contract arrangement.


Upgrade to Myocum Waste and Recycling Facility Transfer Station nearing completion

Council has been undertaking a series of upgrades to the landfill and transfer station to gear up for waste transport and disposal operations. These upgrades included:

  • The construction of push walls to Bay 2 and Bay 3 to assist in the loading of waste into waste transfer trucks;
  • The installation of metal gates to Bay 1 to dramatically improve user safety;
  • The set up of 2 resource recovery bays to allow resources from the dry waste stream, such as steel, concrete, cardboard and timber, to be recovered prior to transporting the residual waste to another facility for disposal; and
  • Creating a one-way system to improve traffic management and safety of site users.

Other works have included general site improvements to increase the performance of the site. More minor improvements are still to come as Council moves to full transportation and disposal.


Proposed Myocum Quarry Landfill Update

The current Myocum Landfill is approaching capacity. Council is progressing with the implementation of the proposed Myocum Quarry Landfill project at the quarry site immediately adjacent, and to the west, of the existing quarry. The current phase of project delivery is the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and preliminary Landfill Environmental Management Plan (LEMP).

A number of planning/environmental studies have been completed to date which have been used to inform the EIS and LEMP for the proposed Myocum Quarry Landfill. Council received final draft versions of the EIS and LEMP from the engaged consultants Cardno Pty Ltd in early September 2013. The next phases of the project include:

  • Stakeholder Review – submitting the Final Draft EIS and LEMP documents to participating state government agencies for their preliminary review and comment,
  • Final Document Delivery – finalising the EIS and LEMP documents in accordance with comments from the Stakeholder Adequacy Review, and
  • Development Application Submission – project assessment, public exhibition and determination by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel.

In the interim Council is proceeding with the transportation and disposal of residual waste off site as detailed below in the article First Load of Waste Leaves Myocum Transfer Station.

For more information please contact Council’s Capital Projects Officer Michael Magalhaes on 02 6626 7027 or michael.magalhaes@byron.nsw.gov.au.


Organics kerbside collection is coming

Council is in the planning stages of implementing a weekly, food and garden organics kerbside collection service to the urban areas of the Byron Shire. The service will be rolled out toward the middle of next year.

At present around 50% of what goes into our garbage trucks each week is food and garden organics. What a terrible waste! The collected material will be transported to a facility which will process the waste into compost. The compost will then go back into our soils to add valuable nutrients and produce healthy food and gardens. Together we will be working towards a much better option for our community and the environment.


Second Hand Saturday - 26 September

Hold a garage sale for free! 

Second Hand Saturday - the biggest day of garage sales on the north coast - is being held on 26 September.  Registrations close tomorrow 17 September at http://www.secondhandsaturday.com.au/index.html

Households are encouraged to register and hold their garage sale at home, or coordinate a joint garage sale in their street, or with their local school, preschool, community organization or Church. It is free to register and a free listing of your garage sale is included in participating newspapers and on the Second Hand Saturday website.

Second Hand Saturday helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, enables residents to participate in the promotion of reuse and repair, and engage them in an environmentally, socially and
economically rewarding activity. This will be the sixth Second Hand Saturday event NE Waste has coordinated since 2006. Last year, more than 700 people registered to hold garage sales across the region.


Carbon Farming Initiative – Second in Australia and first in NSW

The installation and operation of Byron Shire Council’s landfill gas extraction and flaring system at the Myocum Landfill has been officially recognised as a ‘Registered Offsets Project’ under the federal government’s Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI).

Council’s environmental programs officer, Lloyd Isaacson, said it’s a significant achievement. “We are the second council in Australia to have a gas extraction and flaring project approved under the CFI scheme, and the first to have an existing system approved that has not been associated with a previous greenhouse gas emissions scheme."

Having project recognition enabled Council to claim for Australian Carbon Credit Units for CO2 emissions decrease.  The approval process required a carbon offsets report to be submitted to the Clean Energy Regulator to support the application for the carbon credits. Council was recently advised that the application was successful and has consequently been allocated carbon credits for the period June 2011 to April 2013.

Council now has the opportunity to either trade or hold onto the carbon credits, and a report will be submitted to the 10 October 2013 meeting for it to consider the opportunities and benefits of these options. The current market price for the carbon credits would see Council yield an amount in the order of $150,000 should it elect to trade them.

The Myocum gas management system extracts landfill gas via a network of sumps and pipelines across the site.  The captured gas is then flared and converts the methane to carbon dioxide, which is 21 to 24 times less damaging to the environment.

Landfill gas is produced when organic waste, such as food scraps and garden waste, breaks down. The gas consists of methane, carbon dioxide and a range of other compounds including some odorous gases like hydrogen sulphide, otherwise known as rotten egg gas.

Mayor Simon Richardson said what started out as an odour control solution has been a significant environmental and economic win.

‘We’ve reduced the odour emissions at the Landfill, reduced the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and Council is now in a position to determine how best it wishes to deal with its carbon credits asset. Through its continuing commitment to innovation and sustainability, Byron Shire and its residents will at the forefront along the path to a low carbon future,” he said.