The Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility has added a national excellence award to an earlier innovation gong following a presentation function in Brisbane late last month.
The O’Mara Road site was awarded the Transfer Station Excellence award at the Australian Landfill and Transfer Station Conference.
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Nancy Sommerfield said the award was confirmation of Council’s vision for creating an innovative, sustainable and flexible strategy for managing waste across the region.
“Council previously has been recognised as one of the most innovative local governments in Australia in waste management and now our work has been further commended for transfer station excellence across the country,” Cr Sommerfield said.
“This is a real coup for the Toowoomba Region and confirms the strategic decisions Council is making in managing waste.
“The $20 million Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility design was based on detailed research and analysis of long-term operational costs. The innovative design has been adopted as a template for similar new facilities across the country.
“The facility has reduced the number of loads to landfill by 79%, with a future target of 90%. This has significant environmental and cost savings.
“The new facility also has achieved a 75% diversion rate of material to landfill, compared to around 30% at the previous Bedford Street facility. This has been achieved without extra staff.
“Council thanks the community for their support and efforts in helping Council achieve this level of diversion from landfill.
“The easily accessible site layout has contributed to the increase in the diversion rate and this site pattern has been used at several new transfer stations and will be copied when other new transfer facilities are opened in coming years.
“The awards are run by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia and are very prestigious within the sector, so it’s great to be recognised for the hard work of all involved.”
TRC Water and Waste portfolio leader Cr Bill Cahill said from an operational aspect, Council was able to manage the O’Mara Road facility more efficiently.
“Council built the facility as a blueprint for a regional network of automated facilities, with operations able to be managed from the O’Mara Road facility,” Cr Cahill said.
“New technology helps staff monitor and track waste streams at each location and different times of the year. This can identify potential issues, such as the delivery of hot coals in the cooler months.
“The technology allows us to best meet the needs of our customers.
“Further examples of cost benefits include the ability to remotely monitor individual facilities to determine whether a truck needs to turn up to service a site.”
Cr Cahill said that each element of the network was scalable and integrated with other components to optimise service, increase diversion and balance costs.
“Data from licence plate cameras track where every vehicle goes on site, which was a first in Australia, with information linked to transaction management,” Cr Cahill said.
The March honour adds to the Innovation Award which the complex received at the 2017 Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations Innovation and Excellence Awards in Sydney.
These awards recognise the best that landfills and transfer stations have to offer, with the aim of applauding sites that are exceptional and encouraging best practice in operations.
Caption: TRC Waste Services Project Delivery and Rehabilitation principal Dinesh Chellappa (left), TRC Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Nancy Sommerfield, TRC Waste Services Manger Troy Uren and Katie accept the Transfer Station Excellence award at the Australian Landfill and Transfer Station Conference in Brisbane.