It’s forever been known as “the dump” or “the tip”, but now Cessnock Waste Management Centre has a new look and a renewed aim to divert waste from landfill.
The centre’s new waste transfer station, which includes a community recycling centre, was officially opened this week.
The whole idea of the upgraded centre is to encourage residents to dump appropriate waste into recycling facilities rather than landfill, by offering ease of access and discounts.
When customers drive in, their load is weighed before they pass different stations where they can discard garden organics, metals, tyres and recyclable materials such as paint, mattresses, oils, batteries and gas bottles.
The customer then drives onto another weigh station, where the recyclable material they have dumped is deducted and charged at a reduced rate – half the cost of mixed waste.
- Read more: Reuse centre not part of upgrade plan
All other material is then loaded onto a mixed waste area, meaning residents no longer have to visit the tip face.
Cessnock Council environment and waste services manager Michael Alexander said the two-tiered payment structure aimed to reward customers for managing their waste effectively.
The NSW Government contributed $183,000 towards the redeveloped centre through its ‘waste less, recycle more’ initiative.
Mr Alexander said the improved facility exemplified the waste less, recycle more principle.
“We’re offering people every opportunity to reduce their load and make conscious decisions towards recycling,” he said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald and Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent officially opened the redeveloped site on Monday.
Mr MacDonald said the centre would serve the community for a long time.
Last year Cessnock residents generated more than 45 thousand tonnes of waste, less than 30 per cent of which was recycled.
Cr Pynsent said council was committed to doing better and that the facility was the “start of a new era”.
“Residents can free themselves of unwanted waste safely and quickly while at the same time knowing they are minimising their impact on our environment,” Cr Pynsent said.
Cessnock Council is appealing to all levels of government to take action and deal with the growing glass waste crisis plaguing the nation.
Cessnock is one of four councils which has its waste managed by Hunter Resource Recovery.
Polytrade Recycling, which is subcontracted by Hunter Resource Recovery to manage its waste, has had to resort to storing tonnes of glass in sheds in Victoria due to the collapse in demand for recycled glass in Australia.
Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent said the time to act is now, ahead of this becoming a disaster.
Read more:Council tackles glass waste