Why tonnes of NSW trash is trucked over the border
TENS of thousands of tonnes of NSW's garbage is trucked over the border and dumped in a repurposed open cut coal mine on the outskirts of Ipswich.
According to Tweed Shire Council, it's the most environmentally friendly way for the retiree hotspot to deal with their trash.
Tweed Shire Council contractors Veolia Environmental Services transported 29,485 tonnes of household waste to the Ti Tree Bioenergy waste facility at Willowbank last financial year.
Council waste management unit co-ordinator Rod Dawson said the cheapest and greenest way to dispose of the shire's garbage was to transport it interstate.
"Our current landfill doesn't have the capacity," he said.
"We have plenty of capacity for non-putrescible, or dry waste. We just haven't got any room for putrescible, or wet waste."
Mr Dawson said the shire had sent its garbage over the border for six years.
The council has all but run out of room for wet waste at Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre.
It has approval from the State Government to build new landfill on an adjoining site, but it will be an expensive exercise, worsened by having to build connecting roads on soft soil.
Now, the introduction of a $75 per tonne waste levy in Queensland from July 1 is set to cost Tweed ratepayers more than $2.2 million extra each year.
Even if the council does send dry waste to its own available landfill, ratepayers would be more than $100,000 worse off due to an existing $82.60 waste levy in NSW.
"Price is a significant factor in all decisions, but not this one so much because we just don't have the capacity (for wet waste) at the present," Mr Dawson said.
The council has been scrambling to expand its landfill by developing a final "cell" for wet waste at Stotts Creek, but it's still in the planning stages and expected to take at least two years.
Council documents state it wants to preserve landfill space for later use, expecting it will become a "valuable asset with the decreasing availability of landfill in the Northern Rivers and the increased cost of developing new landfill disposal space".