Central Coast reopens waste facilities

Residents on the Central Coast in NSW are able to utilise the Woy Woy and Buttonderry waste management facilities following its closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Although access remained open for waste management vehicles, private waste contractors and small business customers, the public were prohibited from entering all three Central Coast Council waste facilities.

A Central Coast Council spokesperson said all three facilities were closed to the public in line with NSW Police advice and the NSW Government’s Public Health Order of March 29.

“In response to the developing situation with COVID-19, the NSW Government later issued a fact sheet clarifying the management of waste and recycling facilities,” the spokesperson said.

“As a result, the restriction on public access to the Woy Woy and Buttonderry waste management facilities was lifted.”

The Kincumber facility remains closed due to ongoing maintenance work.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the community, limit the need for residents to travel, minimise contact and ensure services are still being provided, Council has changed some operations at its waste management facilities.

Council is encouraging all residents to utilise their three bin and bulk collection services and comply with requirements around non-essential travel.

CEO Central Coast Council, Gary Murphy, said Council’s priority is the health of staff and the Central Coast community and continuing to deliver essential services.

“I want to assure the community that all our essential services are not interrupted, and this includes water and sewer; collection and management of waste,” he said.

Essential services across the region continue, including work on its rolling program to inspect and replace critical sewage sewage to improve the performance and reliability of the network.

More than $2 million dollars has been earmarked for the project this financial year that sees existing pipes rehabilitated with structural relining to extend their service life by up to 50 years or replacing end-of-design-life equipment.

“We manage an extensive sewer network with 2,649 kilometres of sewer pipelines across the region as well as eight sewage treatment plants and more than 320 sewage pumping stations,” Council spokesperson said.

“We are using innovative techniques to rehabilitate damaged sewer pipelines during the work.”

Council starts by clearing the pipe and assessing the conditions of sewer lines via CCTV camera, then insert a liner to reinforce the existing pipe structure that seals any leaks, significantly reducing the risk of future damage, particularly from tree roots.

“This technique reduces the need to excavate, minimising disruption to services during works and reduces repair costs,” Council spokesperson said.

“This essential maintenance on local sewer infrastructure will improve asset and network reliability, lower the risk of environmental discharges and help ensure we have adequate and sustainable infrastructure to meet future demand.”

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Bin sensors installed in NSW

In a first for the region, Central Coast Council has installed a new solar compaction bin and connected 46 new sensors to existing waste stations across Entrance Town in New South Wales.

The new technology monitors the volume of bins to improve servicing schedules.

Council Waste Director Boris Bolgoff said the investment is part of council’s Place Litter Bin Replacement and Upgrade Program, which aims to increase waste collection and reduce flyaway litter.

“The cloud-based software provides real-time data on the volume of bins to any web enabled device, with alerts set up for when bins are reaching capacity,” Mr Bolgoff said.

“This will allow constant monitoring of bins during busier times of the year, helping to reduce the impacts of litter and improve planning as crews will already know which bins need to be emptied.”

Mr Bolgoff said the new service also includes a single waste solar compactor system, which has a capacity five times higher than a traditional bin.

“This financial year will see a further $300,000 invested into the rolling Public Place Bin Program, with another 160 new waste and recycling units installed to help manage the waste needs of the growing community,” Mr Bolgoff said.

“If successful, we will investigate rolling out the technology in other popular tourism and high foot traffic areas.”

According to Mr Bolgoff, additional benefits include cost savings by purchasing waste stations in bulk, more effective maintenance, consistent design, increased safety and opportunities to recycle.

Central Coast Council Mayor Lisa Matthews said it was great to see council investing in new technology.

“I applaud council for listening to and acting upon community concerns regarding litter bins during peak holiday times,” Ms Matthews said.

“Aside from protecting our unique environment from litter, the project will help maintain the appearance of our well-known tourist destinations, which is integral to the economic development of the region.”

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NSW EPA award $5M in Bin Trim grants

More than $5 million has been awarded as part of the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Bin Trim program.

The program aims to help businesses produce less waste or divert it from landfill into recycling. It provides funding for organisations to access waste assessors who provide advice and support to individual businesses to increase their waste diversion and reduction.

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To make this happen, 16 councils, industry, consultancies and not-for-profit organisations have been awarded $5.16 million.

Sustainability solutions company Eco Guardians was awarded $379,200 to divert food organics and dry recyclables from landfill by targeting up to 400 business in the Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Hunter region.

Environmental consulting company Cool Planet Energy Pty Ltd was awarded $398,700

To target industrial, hospitality and accommodation sectors in regional NSW to divert organics and dry recyclables.

The grants were awarded under the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

For more information on the grants, click here.

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