Council to investigate future waste management facility options

Date published: 22 November 2016

Council has begun work to determine the best location for a new waste management facility for Townsville.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Paul Jacob said the city’s current landfills would reach capacity by about 2036, so it was essential council begin the process of identifying a new waste management facility now.

“As our city’s population continues to grow, it will have a direct impact on the demand for council’s waste services, so we’ve identified a need to increase our infrastructure to manage this demand,” Cr Jacob said.

“It’s a long process to investigate sites, conducting appropriate studies, and gaining approvals, not to mention the community and stakeholder engagement that is required. This process can take from seven to 15 years.

“The site would likely accommodate the main waste and resource processing operations for council and that may include material sorting and transfer facilities, alternative waste technologies, resource management areas and residual landfill.”

The Townsville Landfill Preliminary Siting Study, undertaken by council, took a broad approach to identify sites with a 50-100 year lifespan.

These investigations led to the identification of 19 possible sites, these sites were then subject to a more detailed assessment. Each site was assessed against a number of criteria such as social and environmental risk, strategic opportunities and the cost to develop and operate over the life of the site.

Following the assessment two sites, located in Alice River and Gumlow, were shortlisted based on whole of life operating and capital costs.

Community engagement and field investigations will be undertaken to further inform the council’s decision about the location of the new facility.

An approximate total of $3 million of capital works expenditure is estimated over the next five years for community engagement, fieldwork, land purchase and approvals.