Ballina?s tip close to full
By NERIDA BLOK
BALLINA Shire Council is looking to pay other councils to take the town's rubbish.
The problem of finding a solution to the shire's future waste disposal has emerged because the Ballina tip, next to the Ballina airport, is nearly full.
Council general manager John Christopherson said the tip was 'getting towards the end of its life in terms of capacity' so the council was looking for answers outside the shire.
He said the council was investigating an offer by Tweed Shire Council to take Ballina's waste for $72 a tonne.
Ballina had written to the Tweed council asking what they would charge if it were to take Ballina's waste, Mr Christopherson said.
"It's really just a contingency plan," he said.
"We are also investigating Ipswich, Byron Bay, Richmond Valley and Lismore as well, but it is not at the stage of initiating any of those."
Mr Christopherson confirmed the Tweed council had agreed to take Ballina's waste 'should we need them to'.
However, he ruled out any increase in ratepayer garbage fees in the short to mediumterm.
"There will be no additional cost for the disposal," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Christopherson said a new waste facility was being prepared next to the existing landfill site.
He said the project was a coordinated effort combining engineering and environmental companies, as well as the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation.
It is expected to be ready for use early next year.
"We have also put a proposal to the Department of Environment and Conservation that will extend the life of the current landfill," he said.
"Basically it is a way of capping the landfill. It uses a technique that shapes the top of landfill to be crowned so it has a high point in the centre and run-off at the sides.
"It will just give a little more life to the landfill."
Mr Christopherson said the option of using other councils to take waste would only be acted upon if the department was not comfortable with the Ballina council's proposal.
"Tweed said no problem. They were more or less happy to help out if the department declines the proposal," he said.