Lismore is stamping its claim as the recycling centre of the northern rivers region with a major expansion of its recycling plant.
The $3.65 million Materials Recovery Facility and associated Glass Processing Plant officially opened yesterday.
The expanded facility will process up to 15,000 tonnes of recyclables each year, with material drawn from neighbouring shires.
Lismore City Council’s Waste Operations coordinator Kevin Trustum said the MRF would enable the community to deal with ‘the waste created in our own backyards’ as well as generating revenue.
‘For the first time ever, people will be able to recycle items such as plastic bags and polystyrene, which have previously ended up in landfill,’ Mr Trustum said.
‘Through the Glass Processing Plant we will also be able to recycle all old glass and crockery, which will be crushed into sand and then used as a percentage in roadbase and asphalt.’
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said residents had made it clear during the Imagine Lismore community consultations that they wanted their city to be a model of sustainability.
She said that the council had also developed an education campaign called ‘The Dirty Dozen – 12 recycling rules for your yellow bin’ to help educate residents.
She said that the MRF was also expected to greatly reduce truck movements on local roads as unprocessed recyclables would no longer be transported to the Gold Coast.
A big change was the introduction of resource recovery collection satchels so people could collect problem waste such as household batteries, reading glasses, corks, CDs and DVDs, mobile phones and accessories, printer cartridges and small electronics (such as cameras, iPods and calculators).
‘This is a very exciting step forward, as it means even more waste will be diverted from landfill,’ Mr Trustum said.
The satchels are free and available now from Council’s Corporate Centre, Lismore City Library, and the Lismore Recycling and Recovery Centre.
The MRF and Glass Processing Plant, officially opened by Ms Dowell and Lismore MP Thomas George, was part-funded by the NSW government, the Australian Packaging Covenant and the Packaging Stewardship Forum.