YEARS of setbacks came to an end for Orange City Council yesterday when work began on the long awaited $7.5 million Euchareena Road waste project to replace the close to full Ophir Road landfill.
Planning for the rubbish tip began in 1996 but years of wrangling with the project’s objectors meant the final okay was delayed until 2010. The initial approval issued in 2007 was overturned in the NSW Land and Environment Court the following year.
The project hit a further setback in May when the Narromine-based contractor went into liquidation.
But director of enterprise services Stephen Sykes said the change in tender had no impact on the timeframe or cost of the project which was on track to be completed by August next year.
“We’ll start commissioning in June 2013 because in July we run out of landfill space,” he said.
“That’s why we’ve been pressing ahead.”
Canowindra-based company Smiths Earthmoving will excavate a space the size of two football fields four metres deep to create the first two of the facility’s eight lined storage cells at a cost of $3.3 million.
The lifespan of the landfill is anticipated to be 40 years and it will hold 1.6 million cubic metres of waste.
Unlike the ill-fated Hub proposal, the waste will be compressed into one cubic metre plastic wrapped bales before it is buried.
The contract also includes the construction of internal roads inside the front gate, dams to collect surface water and landscaped mounds to screen the view of the waste facility.
Work by JR Richards to build the $5.79 million waste baling and organics processing facility at the Ophir Road site has also begun.
The new system of processing the organic waste separately will mean council will be exempt from the carbon price.
“Because we’re taking food and green waste out we don’t produce methane so we’re not subject to the carbon price mechanism,” Mr Sykes said.
About 60 per cent of waste will be diverted from landfill under the new system.
Mr Sykes said the facility will be used by the region in the future, as the landfills of neighbouring council’s reach capacity and the approval process for landfills becomes more difficult.