Resourcing Australia’s First Landfill Alternative: Local Government
As Australia’s first region to invest in an alternative to landfill, Port Stephens Council is a leader in sustainability innovation. Aided by SUEZ’s expertise and technology, it achieves impressive diversion rates and delivers reliable services to its residents and visitors.
Nestled on the stunning Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Port Stephens is home to thriving tourism and agricultural industries. With a unique natural environment not well suited to landfill and a residential population of 70,000 that more than doubles during holiday seasons, Port Stephens Council began investing in landfill alternatives in the mid- 1990’s – well before its counterpart in other Local Government Areas (LGA’s).
With SUEZ’s expert help, Port Stephens delivers the highest diversion rate in the Hunter region.
State of the ARRT
SUEZ assumed co-management of Port Stephens’ Raymond Terrace Advanced Resource Recovery Treatment (ARRT) facility in 2007 before taking full ownership in 2008, upgrading the plant to meet new Environment Protection Authority requirements and integrating it into its national ARRT network. With SUEZ’s continued investment in technology, the facility means that none of the region’s domestic waste is sent to landfill without first undergoing a resource recovery process, including the capture and treatment of organics. Organics are composted and then put to good use in mine site rehabilitation across the Hunter, amplifying the impact of Council’s investment in the future.
Employing the latest in resource recovery technology, SUEZ helps Port Stephens Council to dramatically reduce its reliance on landfill. With no direct-to-landfill service for domestic waste in the region, the LGA enjoys the highest waste diversion rate of all Hunter councils, saving millions of dollars in landfill levies in the process. Diverting organics also helps stabilise and extend the life of the landfill and dramatically reduces its pollution footprint through cutting greenhouse gas emissions, leachate, odour, and the long-terms costs of rehabilitating the site.
Reaping the rewards
Working with SUEZ to build on its innovative approach to waste management gives Port Stephens Council access to superior expertise and technology, enabling it to reach diversion targets well ahead of neighbouring regions and minimise its reliance on landfill. With the addition of SUEZ kerbside and public place collections in 2015, it all adds up to an integrated waste management service that delivers optimal outcomes for the community and the environment.