Friday, February 23, 2024

Ipswich landfill cleanup ordered

After almost six months of advocacy from City of Ipswich Council and the community, the Queensland Government has directed waste company, Cleanaway, to close and rehabilitate a smelly local landfill cell.

Council says the cell has significantly contributed to an offensive odour that is emanating from the New Chum site.

Cleanaway’s New Chum site, an engineered landfill, is located within a zoned industrial precinct on the site of a former coal mine and has been operating since 1998.

New Chum receives about 200,000 tonnes of waste from the Ipswich community and further afield each year. It includes construction waste, dry commercial waste and soils. The site is also licensed to accept limited regulated waste, including asbestos.

The State Government last week confirmed it had issued a notice to Cleanaway that it intends to change the conditions of its existing Environmental Authority, directing that the cell is closed, will not receive any waste, and is fully rehabilitated.

“The odorous cell, known as Cell 3B, is just one of at least five primary landfill cells at Cleanaway’s New Chum site,” said Division 3 Councillor, Marnie Doyle.

“We will continue to advocate strongly for residents on each and every waste and odour issue that originates from this area and affects the quality of life of our residents.

“The negative impacts of having a number of waste facilities and dumps in close proximity to residential areas have been significant for many years and quite rightly residents have had enough.”

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair, Ipswich Mayor, Teresa Harding welcomed the State’s action as a win for the surrounding suburbs such as Riverview and Collingwood Park, who have had to bear the brunt of noxious odours for many years.

“Unfortunately, our residents are all too familiar with the offensive odours that arise from private landfills sites in Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.

“The extreme rainfall from Ipswich’s February floods had pooled in a landfill cell at the Cleanaway site which has contributed significantly to a powerful odour blanketing several suburbs.

“Residents will no doubt be relieved to hear that the State intends to direct Cleanaway to permanently close the landfill cell and fully restore it.”

The Mayor said Council had also received a written request from the Department of Environment and Science urging the council to take action against Cleanaway for non-compliance in relation to sediment control and stormwater management.

“This was an unexpected request from the Department of Environment and Science, the primary agency tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the compliance of private waste operators,” Mayor Harding said.

“Council has been working closely with the Department, Cleanaway and the community for months to resolve this particular issue.

“If Council felt it had any grounds to undertake compliance action, it would have done so already.

“An initial review of the Department’s request indicates there is no evidence to support council taking compliance action against Cleanaway. Of course, we will continue to monitor and review the situation closely,” she said.

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