My tour of the Kilmany Resource Recovery Centre and Landfill
I recently toured the Kilmany Resource Recovery Centre and Landfill with Raquel Harris and Jo Rule from the Wellington Shire Council (WSC) Sustainability team. It was a fascinating tour which I’d encourage everyone to take.
I was aware that glass, plastic bottles, cans, paper, and green waste could be recycled there free of charge, however I was amazed at what was else could be recycled. If sorted properly, the following are able to be recycled free of charge;
· Small & medium gas bottles/cylinders
· Motor oil
· Scrap metal
· Car batteries
· E waste ie anything that has a cord or was battery operated
· Silage wrap (but only between September 16th to October 20th )
Fees are charged on these items that can be recycled;
· Large gas tanks/cylinders
Some of these materials are processed onsite, such as the concrete and green waste. After processing, the concrete rubble and mulch are available for sale at the site. Other recyclers, who have the knowhow and equipment, process the rest of the materials collected for recycling.
All vehicles are inspected prior to proceeding to dump points. Trucks are weighed as they enter and depart the facility. Fees can then be calculated.
All unsorted domestic rubbish is tipped onto a slow moving platform. The rubbish is sorted and placed in the appropriate recycling spot, including polystyrene. Anything in good reusable or new condition is placed in the “shop” for purchase.
After each commercial truck load of rubbish is dumped into the open cell (which is huge), it is rolled with heavy equipment expelling any air and compacting the load. At the end of the day the cell has a layer of earth spread over it to contain the rubbish. The WSC has recently purchased a tarp to cover the rubbish thus eliminating the need to spread earth daily over the cell. This saves airspace in the cell for rubbish. The previous cell had a life expectancy of 5 years. Unfortunately it only lasted 3 years! Once a cell is filled, a thick membrane to keep the cell intact covers it.
Underneath the cells are a system of pipes which funnel off any “bin juices” into secured and fenced off ponds. The liquids are evaporated. The remaining sludge is collected and sent to a facility to be processed. The facility is subject to a raft of EPA regulations to monitor ground water and air quality. Any breaches of EPA regulations will result in a hefty fine.
The WSC recycling program is fortunately not serviced by SKM and is therefore not affected by the current recycling crisis affecting numerous regions. The overriding message is to keep up your fantastic efforts to recycle!
Thanks go to Raquel, Jo and the Wellington Shire Council for the opportunity to tour the facility.