Cleanaway responds to 4 Corners program

The Central Coast Council’s newly-appointed domestic waste contractor, Cleanaway, has issued a statement in response to the ABC 4 Corners program that highlighted illegal dumping at Spencer and regulatory issues with the Mangrove Mountain landfill.
The Cleanaway statement said: “The Four Corners report raised a number of issues, many of which relate to the questionable practices of ‘rogue’ operators.
“We do not stockpile glass, nor do we transport waste from NSW to Queensland to avoid landfill levies, as others are reported to be doing.
“Cleanaway is committed to transparency and integrity in the way it operates.
“We remain committed to our mission of making a sustainable future possible and to our Footprint 2025.
“Our entire Value Operating Model is built around extracting the maximum value from waste, which means recovering more recyclables each year, and exploring ways to continually reduce the volume of waste going to landfill.
“We made a conscious decision at the time the landfill levy was abolished in Queensland not to transfer waste from NSW to Queensland.
“This decision was made for two main reasons: first, because there are unacceptable risks associated with moving large volumes of waste across very long distances and, second, because we’re simply not prepared as a matter of principle to undermine the spirit of the legislation.
“Cleanaway does not stockpile glass.
“In fact, we have been exploring different options to more efficiently recycle and reuse glass across our network.
“At our new Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Perth, we have invested in new glass crushing and clean up technology which allows us to create a glass sand product on site, which is ready for immediate use in civil construction as a sand/aggregate replacement.
“Our Commodities Trading Desk remains focussed on exploring new markets for recycled commodities to ensure the ongoing economic sustainability of our recycling operations.
“All Cleanaway landfills are highly engineered and work to stringent licencing and environmental regulations.
“Strict regulations specifically cover the disposal of waste in old coal mining areas.
“During cell construction, any coal seams must be removed.
“As a further precaution, a metre of clay is laid along the bottom and the sides of the cell to act as a thermal barrier between the cell and the waste.
“There was a fire at our New Chum landfill in July 2017.
“The fire was on the surface level of the open face of the landfill, which suggests that it was the result of waste material being hot at the time of disposal.
“Fire is a risk during the process of disposing of waste in any site, although it is rare.
“We take the safety of our people and the community seriously, so all Cleanaway sites have stringent processes to detect, manage and mitigate the risk of fire.
“The fire at New Chum was detected and extinguished quickly, highlighting the effectiveness of our processes,” the statement said.


Media statement, Aug 8
Frank Sufferini, Cleanaway