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Byron Shire
November 27, 2022

Where are flood-damaged items going? 

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Flood rubbish in Molesworth Street, Lismore, 7 March 2022. Photo David Lowe.

Paul Bibby

As garbage trucks circled the streets of the Shire collecting masses of flood waste over the past few weeks, more than a few locals were heard to ask, ‘where is all this stuff going?’.

The answer?

Alstonville, and then Qld, according to the Public Works Advisory (PWA). The first stop for the tens of thousands of tonnes of flood waste collected across the Northern Rivers has been the Boral asphalt quarry site on Gap Road, Alstonville.

At the peak of the clean-up, PWA say 750 trucks a day poured into the facility, each one carrying between three and 10 tonnes of waste.

The waste is to be temporarily stored at this facility while sorting takes place, with authorities hoping that up to 40 per cent will be recycled.

The rest will then be compacted, loaded into large haulage trucks and taken to the Veolia Ti Tree Bioenergy Facility in Willowbank, Qld.

Destination facility at Ipswich

Located on the outskirts of Ipswich, the facility is said to utilise ‘best practice’ bioreactor technology to rapidly ‘stabilise’ waste, while capturing environmentally damaging methane and converting it into electricity.

However, the site also has a ‘37 million cubic metre void leftover from a previous open cut coal operation’, suggesting that a significant proportion of the waste will become landfill.

Meanwhile, Byron Council has announced that collection contractors have undertaken a mass clean-up of all major flood-affected areas in the Byron Shire, collecting over 3,500 tonnes of waste.

‘We will continue to operate the skip site locations for flood waste disposal at Ocean Shores Salad Bowl, Alidenes Road and the Mullum netball courts,’ Council’s Phil Holloway said.

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