Orange builders down in the dumps over landfill price confusion

DIRTY ON FEES: Central Western Master Builders Association president Mick Banks says fees for disposing building waste are unclear

DIRTY ON FEES: Central Western Master Builders Association president Mick Banks says fees for disposing building waste are unclear

ORANGE City Council has been forced to clarify the cost of taking building waste to landfill after Orange tradesmen raised concerns about the possibility of more expensive fees to be introduced from July 1.

Currently, builders pay a fee of $87.55 per tonne to dispose of waste at Ophir Road’s Resource Recovery Centre, but council’s draft fees and charges have listed construction and demolition mixed waste to rise to $130 a tonne from the new financial year.

Central Western Master Builders Association president Mick Banks said new homes averaged seven tonnes of building waste and the charges would add a further $300 to each mortgage.

“I can understand if it went up by consumer price index (CPI) - everyone allows for that,” he said.

“But it’s more than that, it’s such a big jump.”

However, Orange City Council spokesman Allan Reeder said Mr Banks’ waste would be defined as inert, and would only rise to $95 a tonne provided the materials were not contaminated. 

“Waste material such as bricks, concrete, masonry, timber and ‘clean’ soil can be recycled or diverted away from landfill, but only if it’s sorted by the builder and kept separate from other waste,” he said. “If it’s mixed together, it all goes to landfill.”

Mr Reeder said building houses created a significant amount of waste and the lowered fees would offer an incentive to builders to separate reusable material from landfill material.

“They can store all the bricks, concrete and masonry on the building site and then take that material at the same time in one load,” he said. 

“Alternatively, they can put the different kinds of waste separately on different sections of their truck when it’s delivered to the Resource Recovery Centre, and drop it off in the appropriate locations at the centre.”

Despite the council’s draft fees and charges listing the 2013/14 base fee for mixed waste at $79.59, Mr Reeder said the full fee for mixed waste was $118.50 this year, rising to $130 on July 1.

Mr Banks said a $95 charge would be acceptable.

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