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Council talks up rubbish plans for the region

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City of Newcastle is talking rubbish, big rubbish, and how it can divert that rubbish from landfill. 

After taking a closer look at its Summerhill Waste Management Centre, the local government group is investigating whether the development of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Wallsend address could ease some of the wastage. 

The purpose of a Material Recovery Facility is to sort mixed recyclables into individual material types, including paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, steel and aluminium. 

The majority of bulk waste currently dropped at Summerhill is collected kerbside rubbish, commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste. 

Summerhill Waste Management Centre

CN Managing Director Waste Services Michael Allaway said CN was continuing to explore a range of sustainable solutions for managing waste in the region.  

“We’re exploring all options to deliver responsible, environmentally sustainable, and commercially feasible waste and recycling operations to manage our current and future waste streams,” Mr Allaway said.  

“The establishment of an Inert MRF will divert a significant amount of waste from being disposed of in landfill at Summerhill.  

“We’re also continuing to progress approvals for a recyclables MRF as an option to process the recyclables from residents’ yellow-lid bins at Summerhill.  

“A development application is currently being assessed by the NSW Government’s Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel, who are expected to hand down their determination mid-year.”   

Recycling from Newcastle residents’ yellow-lid bins is currently taken to the Summerhill Waste Management Centre before being transferred to iQ Renew’s processing facility on the Central Coast.  

The arrangement was established following the sudden closure of the only Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in the Hunter in 2020, which was at the time sorting recyclables for the majority of all local councils.   

Mr Allaway said it was an appropriate point in time to test the market in this space, with CN now calling for tenders for a long-term recyclables processing contract.  

“With the current recyclables processing contract due to expire towards the end of this year, we’re moving forward with a tender process,” he said.  

“This will allow us to assess the potential to secure an arrangement that provides certainty around cost, resource recovery and commodity market exposures.  

“We also have the option to extend our current contract with iQ Renew for another 12 months should that prove more favourable.” 

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