A popular recycling drop-off centre in Lismore is set to be relocated closer to the CBD as the redevelopment of Lismore Park comes closer to fruition.
But some local residents have baulked at the plan as they believe the current depot is already in an ideal centralised position which does not impact on residential properties.
A Lismore City Council (LCC) plan for the relocation of the existing recycling depot in Brewster Street in Lismore Park (opposite Lismore Square) to a Zadoc Street location was deferred at last week’s meeting to enable a councillor workshop on alternative options.
Other concerns raised about the newly proposed site include its proximity to a colony of Little Bent-winged bats and to Browns Creek, its sound and visual impacts from smashing glass and a proposed two-metre high chainmesh and barbed wire fence as well as 24-hour security lighting.
Cr Vanessa Ekins supported deferring for further debate, saying she held major concerns about the staff recommendation for the Zadoc Street relocation.
‘They are proposing to put up a big perimeter fence with barbed wire which is adjacent to a maternity roost for a threatened bat species, wildlife carers spend a lot of their time peeling bats off barbed wire,’ Cr Ekins told Echonetdaily.
‘Truck movements of 10-a-day would go through that gnarly Keen Street intersection near the cinemas, there are pedestrian crossings and give ways, already a lot is happening there. Trucks will turn there to go all the way down Keen Street which is ridiculous.’
Cr Ekins now believes that the waste facility could be co-located with the newly developed Lismore Park.
‘Originally, it was thought that a recycling drop-off facility was not a very good idea next to a destination park. But it could possibly stay as it sends a really strong message that we value recycling,’ she said.
‘They also say to enhance an area where people are already visiting, we could provide dual purpose so when people come to do their recycling the kids could have a run around in the park.’
Resident Phil Toynton, whose home overlooks the proposed Zadoc Street site, opposed the plan during an address to councillors at public access.
‘I suppose I am not a NIMBY (not in my back yard), I am a NIMFY because it is in my front yard,’ Mr Toynton quipped.
‘Council is trying to revitalise the CBD. More and more people are seeing living in the CBD as an alternative. Placing a waste centre there detracts from this,’ he said.
Council has previously reviewed other locations which include the John Crowther car park on the corner of Woodlark and Dawson Streets.
‘In my original submission I suggested Crowther car park which is the original location of the depot. I have tendered photos to council which show that the entire site is not utilised,’ Mr Toynton said.
‘A few months ago I was led to believe that LCC had no money so leaving it where it is would save council at least the $100,000 they expect this relocation to cost, which in my personal opinion is highly under-estimated.
‘There are also greater savings using the Crowther car park as it is already bitumen and access is already there.’
Cr Greg Bennett was alone in opposing the deferral as he believes the depot should stay where it is.
‘We are wasting money by going through this process of trying to move it. It affects nobody where it is,’ Cr Bennett told Echonetdaily.
‘I don’t see the big rush to move it as we don’t have the money to complete Lismore Park anyway.’
Cr Neil Marks questioned council staff why the facility cannot be moved out to the major Wyrallah Road waste management facility.
Council’s senior property project manager Lindsay Walker said the existing site would not be as accessible by out-of-town residents and commercial users.
Mr Walker said ‘there is a great resource recovery going on there (Brewster Street) in terms of dollars it is our best cardboard recovery facility’.
Mayor Jenny Dowell said that there was now some agreement among councillors of potentially incorporating the current recycling drop-off centre into the Lismore Park redevelopment, which wasn’t part of the original brief.
‘It is possible that this is one of the options,’ Cr Dowell told Echonetdaily.
‘We will also look at other possible locations, if there are any. Although staff has recommended the Zadoc Street site, councillors have raised concerns mostly about the impacts to amenity of nearby residents.’
LCC will vote on Wednesday night whether to invest its $436,455 share of Round 5 of the Commonwealth Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) which would only finance the first stage development of Lismore Park.
Cr Dowell said Lismore Park was now back on the agenda because of the staff recommendation about the expenditure of the RDAF money.
‘If council does support that, then the sighting of the recycling drop-off centre is relevant,’ she said.
Cr Ekins said another option for the RDAF money was the Historical Society’s longtime bid for a lift to be put in the museum to replace a staircase which restricted access, especially for the elderly and disabled.
‘At a cost between $200,000 and $300,000, we have never found the money to fund it,’ said Cr Ekins.