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Waste Facility Consolidation and Modernisation Project

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Waste Facility Consolidation and Modernisation Project


During the past seven years, Bega Valley Shire Council has spent $10.4 million on landfill construction costs.

Last year alone more than 21 thousand tonnes of material went into Bega Valley landfill. To meet national waste reduction targets, we need to recover these resources instead.


  • By adding 1100 new rural collection services this financial year
  • By developing a state-of-the-art Resource Recovery Centre near Bega
  • By consolidating our services to three sites done better, open every day within the next five years
  • By working with our community to change the way we think about waste

Projections based on current filling rates show the Shire’s only landfill site will be full in 15 years unless things change.

To combat this, we are modernising our waste facility approach with a major project that focuses on three key strategies to divert valuable resources away from landfill:

  • Site consolidation: three sites, done better, open every day.
    We propose the development of three existing sites (Eden, Bermagui, and a new Resource Recovery Centre at the Central Waste Facility near Bega). These sites will offer seven-day-a-week service and greatly improved recycling amenities. The Bemboka, Merimbula and Wallagoot sites will close as the three main waste facilities become fully operational. The Cobargo site will remain closed, and the Candelo site will close sooner due to extensive investment required for its ongoing use.
  • Rural waste pickup and bin banks: better service and reduce waste-to-landfill.
    With the introduction of rural kerbside collection or bin bank services to 1100 households, nearly all our rural customers will receive the same level of waste services. This will greatly decrease the need for rural transfer stations and reduce waste-to-landfill with more yellow bins in circulation.
  • Increased capacity to divert and recycle material away from landfill.
    With the development of the Eden and Bermagui sites, plus the opening of a new Resource Recovery Centre at the Central Waste Facility near Bega, we can implement a significant diversion of resources away from landfill by offering improved recovery and recycling services. The new Resource Recovery Centre will house a processing plant for the Shire’s recyclable products, and will form part of an overall Resource Recovery Precinct. Additional options for the precinct include: a FOGO composting facility, and a Materials Recovery Centre where waste is given a new recycled or upcycled life. An example of one of these centres can be viewed here

Your thoughts help us deliver better projects

The Waste Facility Consolidation and Modernisation Project is a multi-faceted approach with many parts that ultimately steers us as a community toward a path where responsible management of waste is a necessity.

This is an ongoing approach, and a journey that needs to be taken by every person, business and organisation in the Shire.

Help us to steer our future waste management and resource recovery strategies by answering the following questions:

Q. To reduce the amount of waste going to landfill requires commitment from Council, business and the community. How do you see residents, organisations and industry working together to achieve this?

Q. A key element of the Waste Facility Consolidation and Modernisation Project is the development of a Resource Recovery Precinct at the Central Waste Facility near Bega. The aim of the precinct is to divert what many people think of as waste into recyclable and upcycled commodities. How would you envisage this facility, what services would it provide, and what opportunities for the community and environment would your vision bring?

Q. Do you agree that we as a Shire of residents, waste managers, business and industry need to change the way we think about and manage our waste, and do you see our proposed Waste Facility Consolidation and Modernisation Project as an effective approach to reducing waste to landfill?

Q. What further waste management and resource recovery steps (if any) would you suggest?

Comments can also be left at the bottom of this page.
Please submit your feedback by 26 October 2020

Community Information Sessions

Please join us at a location that is convenient to you. Bookings are essential to meet COVID-19 safe restrictions.

Choose from one of the four sessions on offer at each venue, each session will run for one hour.

Who's listening

Project timeline

Councillors agreed on August 26 that our waste services need significant change. It was agreed a community information program be undertaken to explain why the proposed changes are being recommended. On September 28, Council will start a series of Community Information Sessions where people can learn more about the project. If the proposed project is adopted, Council will start work immediately, with improvements such as kerbside pick-up and bin banks rolling out this financial year. Larger projects, such as the proposed Resource Recovery Centre, will require approval from planning authorities, and could take up to three years to complete. Council is aiming to deliver the whole project within the next five years.

Questions and Answers


FAQ - Kerbside Bins and Bin Banks

A kerbside collection service is where the garbage truck drives past your property and collects your bins and in most instances you bring your bin out weekly for collection. We use bin banks in remote rural areas when the collection truck is unable to drive past your property. With bin banks, Council allocates bins in the locked bin bank to each resident and you have 24-hour access to dispose of your waste. When determining bin bank locations Council tries to locate them as close as possible to a group of properties.


Albury Waste Management Centre:

This example of a modern Waste Management Centre is a drive-through facility that allows customers to deliver all sorts of recyclable products and general waste at a series of easy-to-use drop-off points. The proposed Resource Recovery Precinct near Bega will be similar to this facility.


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    Comments (16)

  • Our trips to the tip are usually to pick up compost/mulch with our voucher and to look through the Merimbula tip shop while we’re there. Will the “streamlined” smaller tips have compost available or do we have to make a long trek to Bega? Will the new super deluxe tip mean that the odd bargains we used to get at the tip shop will now be overpriced to cover costs thereby making tip treasures a thing of the past?

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  • With the closure of the Tathra tip I am a little concerned about illegal dumping in the bush ( particularly on the white rock Rd and along the power line where dumpers can have easy access). Will council be checking on these areas, some is private land that is not managed and some is crown land now managed by council I think.. this has been a problem in the past , especially at the time when we didn’t have a tip nearby..

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  • I see you are offering FOGO Dog Poo bags as a prize in the cute dogs contest. So could we please have FOGO bins at public places where people walk their dogs. Very few people will take the poo bags home to put in their green bin. Example : the start of the off leash area at beach, The Pole, in Tathra. The red bin there is always full of FOGO dog bags. And also the container of FOGO poo bags is not filled often enough, and is empty at least half of the time.
    Thank you
    Sylvie Mester

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  • Hi Sylvie,

    We hope to roll out public place FOGO and Recycle bins in the near future. We aren’t quite ready as we need to spend time ensuring where the bins are located is correct, how many of each bin we need etc. etc. We hope to start the public place bin project next year.

    Kind regards
    Joley Vidau – Waste Strategy Coordinator

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  • Will any of the info sessions be live streamed for people unable to attend the sessions?

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  • Hi Marie,

    Great question! They aren't live streamed but more than happy to speak/meet with you at a time that works for you?

    Here's my email if you want to catch up

    Kind regards
    Joley Vidau - Waste Strategy Coordinator

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  • If the proposed recycling centre is developed at the Wanatta Lane CWC, will the neighbouring roads be upgraded to sealed / "adequate" , or will users be limited to access from the Princes Highway and the sealed section of Wanatta Lane? Simply, how much will the residents of Greendale Lane suffer from greater traffic volume, traffic noise, road degradation and the increase in road litter ? WILL GREENDALE LANE BE SEALED ?

    When will neighbouring property owners be given the courtesy of written information and a chance to view the DA ?

    It's not that much to ask.

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  • Hi Ian,
    We are at the very start of this project and as such do not have all the answers. This is in part because we do not have the capacity to invest until we know if we have support from Councillors on these big changes. If supported, access to the site will be a huge consideration as will noise, litter etc. etc.
    All residents will have the opportunity to provide submissions on the proposal as is the case with projects of this size. Further to this, residents will be able to view the DA. We hope to be working with all neighbours that surround the CWF on this project well before any DA is submitted.
    Given it will be Designated Development and Integrated Development the planning approval pathway will not be BVSC.
    Kind regards
    Joley Vidau – Waste Strategy Coordinator

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  • Hi
    I'd like to know if, when the costs and effect on the environment were calculated, were the following taken into account:
    - additional fuel and carbon generated by BVSC waste collection trucks to reach the 3 proposed sites
    - additional fuel and carbon generated by residents travelling to the 3 proposed sites
    - statistics on how much is recycled now (through residents leaving/picking up items) at the stations that are due to close, and what effect moving those stations away will have on those statistics
    - expected increase in illegal dumping in - and the cost for cleaning up - surrounding state forests, national parks and other public land - where people who can't afford the extra fuel - or simply can't be bothered - to drive to more distant waste stations drop their waste off.

    It's all very well looking at one cost in isolation - landfill - but there are other costs too that have ramifications in terms of both carbon output and real dollars.

    The countries that do best in terms of waste management and recycling per capita have one thing in common - they make it EASY for people to get rid of their waste propery and to recycle by having highly localised waste/recycling centres near places where people go every week for other reasons,

    The bottle banks and soft plastic recycling bins at supermarkets are a good example - although they are often full (more regular emptying needed!) - they are close to where people shop every week and you can do it all in one trip.

    Obviously larger items and supermarkets don't mix, but having the Merimbula tip where it is, in close proximity to both Merimbula and Tura shopping precincts, makes a big difference to the people in those places who drive past there regularly anyway.

    Would be interested to see if others feel the same way

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  • Hi Lis,
    Thanks for your questions.
    While there is an increase for some residents to travel further the “landfill externality costs” which include the generation of methane, general environmental impacts and human health will be greatly reduced. The aim of the project is to divert as much away from landfill as possible, plus reuse, reduce etc etc. So we recycle more, we aren’t then using virgin materials which have huge environmental impacts.

    Very little is currently recycled, 4500 tonnes of material from skip bins at waste & recycling depots was landfilled during the 18-19 financial year. All bar a few percent is recoverable, provided you have the systems in place to do so. This includes infrastructure that comes at considerable cost.

    The Nation and State targets for diversion from landfill sits at 75% on average, we as a community are at about 30%. Not very good, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    Illegal dumping occurs in most instances for different reasons and it’s not because disposal points are too far away. There is a plethora of data that supports this. If some members of our community don’t feel it’s their responsibility to look after their of waste then the only option is to investigate and fine those individuals. The cost will be born by both state grants and council.

    With regard to additional costs such as fuel, by providing bins either kerbside bins or via a bin bank most of the waste generated will be disposed of via this process. As it already is for 16,500 properties in our shire. The need to then go to a recovery depot reduces to only a few times a year. Vouchers are provided by council for disposal of bulky items, the sites will be open every day so its more convenient, but again people need to be responsible for what they generate.

    Nothing has been looked at in isolation, we simply cannot do that, what we need to do is look at what money we have, what are the best outcomes, both economical and environmental and go from there. The alternative would be to raise waste charges considerably so that we can expand the existing landfill, plus we’d need to put away millions of dollars once the existing landfill site is at capacity, that’s not a good outcome.

    Agree European countries in particular are great at resource recovery. When you have 15 million people paying rates in small areas geographically, and only looking after one facility (if that) it’s pretty easy.

    Council has no involvement with the Return and Earn program, but agree it sets the right message (which is user pays BTW). If there was a return and earn on every corner it would cost considerably more to operate, which is why there are only a few in our Shire. It’s the same as what Council are proposing.

    Merimbula is a challenging site as its built on an old landfill, so building new infrastructure is challenging (which equals more $$$), plus we want to reduce the site and do them better.

    In all, I agree it is a big change having to travel further, but if you are only visiting a few times a year the challenge is reduced. Put this together with job creation, satisfaction knowing you are leaving our environment in a better condition that you found it, plus not locking future rate payers into astronomical waste charges are all good outcomes. We understand that the change is frustrating, but it’s the right thing to do.

    I hope I have answered your questions.
    Kind regards
    Joley – Waste Strategy Coordinator -BVSC

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  • My query relates to Merimbula Tip Shop and it's proposes closure. This is such a valuable asset as it reduces landfill and generates income. A demonstration of recycling at best!. Its location makes it convenient to access.
    Exactly where will residents need to travel to visit the Resource Recycle centre that is described as being "near Bega"?
    Very disappointed that this assest is earmarked for closure as Im sure are other hobbyists and gardeners.

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  • Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for your question/comment.

    Agree Merimbula tip ship is a good asset, but imagine if it was 10 times the size, was clean, all undercover and diverted way more material way from landfill. It would be even better. That’s what we are proposing, but we need to do it where we have space and can practically construct the infrastructure. On an old landfill is far from ideal.

    If the proposal is approved the new location will be on Wanatta Lane at Wolumla, about 15mins outside of Merimbula, heading towards Bega (10 mins from Bega).
    Kind regards
    Joley – Waste Strategy Coordinator -BVSC

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  • As I Unberstand we and many others would have to drive Around 80 kilometres return to bump our rubbish .. I think we will dig a pit on our property rather than taking it to the tip. Or may be your going to supply at our cost bins so your trucks can collect our rubbish from the front of our property If that’s the case good luck driving your truck down a muddy dirt road. Any way it sound like you have already made your minds up......would it not be better to supply three bins at the sites you already have so county folks can put there rubbish in. All that would mean is you supply a few more your sites ....
    Another money grab from authorities I WILL have to ask my boss for a raise HA HA.thats not going to happen even less disposable cash to spend at our local businesses..

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  • Hi Paul,

    A new collection service is being offered for all bar 50 properties in our Shire. The service will either be to your driveway or via a bin bank. This will allow residents to dispose of their waste at a time that suits them. The cost per week is $6.30. This will mean that there will be less trips to the tip, as your general waste will be collected each week.

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  • It appears that the proposals have already been decided by Council. Staging community information sessions is not engaging in a community consultation process.
    No information has been provided to households affected by the proposed changes. Until today there was no comprehensive information on the BVSC website, which is disappointing, given the information being circulated on different media platforms.
    The "Recycling the Future Waste Strategy" states the amount of waste generated by BVS residents is significantly higher than the state average - in fact over 26% higher! No amount of changes to the structure of waste facilities will change people's waste disposal habits unless there is a significant investment in education of the community around appropriate waste disposal. Perhaps this should be the starting point.
    There is no information about the format or locations of the 1100 new collection services. It is difficult to see how closing 5 facilities will ensure that "nearly all our rural customers will receive the same level of waste services."
    The Waste Strategy aims to reduce items going into land fill, problem waste and illegal dumping, however having unsupervised bins or asking residents to drive 30 minutes to reach a waste facility is likely to increase all of these issues.
    Regarding the addition pick up charge of $6.30 per week for red and yellow bins, would this be applicable if a home owner still has to take their waste to a kerbside pick up or bin bank?
    In the current economic climate there is also the concern about the potential loss of jobs for locals.

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  • Hi Marie,

    Both the Waste Strategy and the Community Strategic Plan were consultation processes, the next stage was to consult with Councillors and from there the information sessions were created. The information sessions are so that the community can find out about what we are proposing, as is the information on Councils website. I do not agree with your comment regarding changing facilities not affecting the reduction in landfill. The purpose of what we are proposing is so that we can divert from landfill. In order to divert you need the right infrastructure. Completely agree that a detailed education campaign is needed, we have been, and will continue to provide education to our community. This is done by the website, waste app, by funding the Bournda Environmental Education Centre waste partnership, the waste community grants, the grant funding Council win (e.g FOGO) and the information provided by staff at our facilities. Did you know we have one of the lowest FOGO contamination rates in Australia, this is because we have a community that wan to ‘do the right thing’, and we get our messaging and education right.

    With regard to the new collection services, residents will be informed of the detail if the proposal is approved by council in November.

    Residents that access the bin banks will have locked bins, we have existing bin banks and they work very well. The $6.30 charge is the same for a kerbside service or a bin bank service.

    Did you know for every 2.3 landfill jobs there are 9.2 recycling jobs, we want to create jobs and what we are proposing aims to do that.

    I hope I have answered your questions.

    Waste Strategy Coordinator - BVSC

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