Awaba tip extended 20 years

 LAKE Macquarie City Council is moving ahead with a $12million plan to extend the life of Awaba tip by 20 years to make room for an extra 2.5 million tonnes of garbage.

The tip receives 100,000tonnes of waste annually, with expected increases of 1.2per cent to 1.3per cent a year, a council report said.

At that rate, the tip would be full in four years.

The tip expansion plan is part of the council’s waste strategy, which includes a $100 million contract awarded to Solo Waste in July for organic waste collection and bin supply for the council’s third-bin service.

The NSW Planning Department is considering the council’s plan to expand the tip.

The department will accept public comment on the plan until October 30.

The council report said waste management in Lake Macquarie would ‘‘not be dominated by landfilling in future’’. ‘‘However, there will always be a portion of future waste streams that will not be recoverable for beneficial re-use,’’ the report said.

The Mine Subsidence Board had told the council that the proposed tip expansion area had coal seams beneath the surface.

Centennial Coal was ‘‘likely’’ to mine the area in future, the report said.

Centennial Coal’s Newstan Colliery was working with the council to prepare a mine subsidence risk assessment.

The council would review the tip’s design to ensure that a worst-case scenario of mine subsidence would not cause structural failure of the tip and environmental harm.

The report said the tip extension might affect the landscape, particularly at Awaba.

The tip would be visible above ridgelines, but progressive revegetation of the landfill would minimise effects, the report said.

The tip’s highest point was 83metres above sea level, but that was planned to rise to 110metres by 2032.

The report said nine hectares of bush would be cleared for the expansion and the council planned to offset that with a ‘‘biobanking’’ scheme.

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