Staff recommends against Junkastic Park-style tip shop

With the possible permanent closure of Kincumber tip on the agenda at the February 3 meeting, Council staff have said a return of a tip shop like Junkastic Park is not recommended at the site.

This is despite the fact that the vision outlined in the Central Coast Waste Resource Recovery Strategy to promote the Coast as a creative environment for developing a “local circular economy” includes a tip shop somewhere on the Coast as an option.

The Strategy gives an example of the circular economy: In 2018-19, Council started a mattress recycling program allowing residents to include mattresses in their booked kerbside pick-up (free), or drop them off at the tip (fee charged).

More than 22,000 mattresses were recycled in 12 months.

The mattresses are deconstructed and components such as metal, foam, wood, plastic and textile flocking are recycled.

The metals go into new train wheels, the foam becomes carpet underlay and the remaining components are used as biofuel.

The Strategy explains that nearly 25,000 tonnes of bulky waste was generated in 2018/19.

“With a recovery rate of 17 per cent (4,300 tonnes), there is significant scope to improve performance,” the Strategy states, and it identifies a range of options to lift the bar, including a tip shop, hire shop and/or repair shop to give new life to unwanted products.

Long term residents will remember Junkastic Park, a tip shop which used to operate at Kincumber tip.

It was established in the 1990s on a portion of the Kincumber tip operating under a license arrangement and closed in 2003.

“There is a high level of community support for an outlet to resell or hire out second-hand goods in order to provide another life for valuable products and reduce demand for new products, together with their associated supply chain impacts,” the Strategy says.

“In addition to drop-off at a second hand goods shop, there is considerable recyclable material in kerbside bulky waste that could be salvaged for recovery.”

The Strategy says a tip shop could include a repair room to undertake minor repairs, and potentially conduct education workshops to engage and re-skill the community.

It could also consider introducing a bookable pick-up service to collect reusable products, in tandem with any reuse shop.

The strategy, adopted in September 2020, gives the Council up to three years to assess options on the viability of a tip shop.

But the report to the February 3 meeting, the first meeting for this year after the January 27 meeting was cancelled, says the establishment of a tip shop at Kincumber is not recommended at this time.

“This action would require capital works funding for the construction of appropriate infrastructure and there are practical difficulties and inefficiencies with operating such a facility separately to an active waste disposal or transfer facility, where items can be recovered onsite for repair and/or repurposing,” the report says.

Merilyn Vale