Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) Water and Waste Committee today recommended the adoption of an updated Waste Infrastructure Plan 2020 that will guide the region’s future waste facility upgrades.

The Committee recommendation will be considered for adoption at next Tuesday’s (July 21) Ordinary Meeting of Council.

TRC Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said the Committee’s recommendations would allow Council to revise its infrastructure program, resulting in a projected $25 million saving in previously planned capital works projects.

Cr Vonhoff, pictured left, said the Waste Infrastructure Plan 2020 built on the principles of the previous plan and adhered to Council’s strategic priorities around optimising service levels, increasing diversion of waste from landfill and balancing operating costs.

Cr Vonhoff said a review of the Waste Infrastructure Plan was prompted by an assessment of landfill space at the region’s waste facilities which identified opportunities to extend the useful life of several regional landfill sites.

“Council’s decision in February this year to rescind the planned construction of a waste facility at Wyreema aligned with the review findings into the revised plans for future waste facility upgrades,” Cr Vonhoff said.

Key changes in the Waste Infrastructure Plan 2020 include:
• The use of existing sites for facility upgrades is preferred, rather than purchasing land and building on new sites. This will save significant acquisition costs and minimise uncertainty around future planning approvals for facilities at Greenmount, Yarraman, Pittsworth, Clifton, Millmerran and Goombungee,
• Facilities already operating as transfer stations and providing acceptable service levels to the community will be removed from the upgrade program,
• Facility upgrades will be deferred at sites where there is the ability to continue to use existing landfill capacity (includes Greenmount, Pittsworth, Clifton, Goombungee, Jondaryan and Emu Creek), and
• Weighbridges will be installed at some sites to ensure compliance with waste levy legislation. This is likely to occur at Pittsworth, Clifton and Goombungee landfills.

TRC Water and Waste Committee portfolio leader Cr Nancy Sommerfield, pictured above right, said Council had upgraded waste management facilities at Cooyar, Evergreen and Cecil Plains under the previous Waste Infrastructure Plan, which was adopted by Council in 2017.

“The current upgrade at the Kleinton Waste Management Facility was approved under the former plan,” Cr Sommerfield said.

“The revised Waste Infrastructure Plan 2020 will ensure Council’s waste management facilities have the capability to meet designated state government targets for diverting waste from landfills.

“Council will continue to upgrade facilities as identified in the revised plan.

“Our planning aligns with population growth projections and will ensure 98% of the region’s residents continue to live within a 20-minute drive of a waste management facility.”