Capital Recycling Solution’s recycling plant plan to undergo health assessment

Katie Burgess

  • Katie Burgess

After a public backlash to their plans to burn rubbish for electricity, Capital Recycling Solutions director Adam Perry said the company recently began the whole process again – without the power plant.

“Our proposal now is to still build the recycling plant, take in the same waste streams, and instead of send the non-recyclable residues to our on-site waste-to-energy plant, we will instead send them by train to the Woodlawn Bioreactor,” Mr Perry said.

Last June, Capital Recycling Solutions revealed plans to build the $200 million facility on a block backing onto the railway in Ipswich Street, Fyshwick.

The project would divert trucks carrying rubbish to Mugga Lane to Fyshwick, where recyclables would be extracted, before the remainder was used to fuel the waste-to-energy plant.

 The rail line was to be used for exporting recyclables, but will now also send leftover ACT rubbish to the Woodlawn bioreactor at Tarago after the company decided to split up the projects and pursue the recycling plant first.

Mr Perry said at the time the recycling plant was “viable” as a standalone activity and a “worthwhile pursuit” from a commercial perspective.

He said they put the waste-to-power element of the project on the backburner because of community concern and will wait until more studies are completed on the technology before pushing it again.

This includes evaluating any effect the development would have on air quality for surrounding businesses, the potential dust generation while the site is under construction and how stockpiled waste will be managed to prevent fire breaking out, in the event of oversupply.

The Health Protection Service also requested a formal health impact assessment be done, which would include more community consultation.

“As the proposed development is located within proximity to residential and industrial mixed zone areas, the conduct of a formal [health impact assessment] would facilitate the appropriate avoidance or mitigation of any identified negative health impacts as well as the promotion of subsequent positive impacts,” the document said.

The Climate Change and Sustainability Division questioned the recovery rates cited in the company’s proposal, calling for further clarification.

On one page, it said the facility could divert up to 90 per cent of the municipal solid waste and commercial and industrial waste streams, while another page mentioned a resource recovery rate of 20 per cent.

The Environmental Protection Agency said as the scoping documents said the facility will emit odours, the company must undertake a odour air quality assessment and show they will take steps to manage it.

“The proposed noise and odour assessments to be undertaken for nearby residential areas needs to be expanded to include the ACT government’s proposed East Lake residential development and surrounding development,” the document said.

East Lake includes parts of Fyshwick, Kingston and Griffith, and was identified as an area for potential urban renewal in the 2004 Canberra Spatial Plan. It’s expected up to 9000 people will eventually call the area home.