EXCLUSIVE: THE pristine Avon Valley could soon become Perth’s new dumping ground following a proposal for a new landfill site near York.
Waste management company SITA wants to transport up to 150,000 tonnes of household rubbish a year about 80km from Perth to a new landfill at St Ronans, about 18km west of York.
SITA’s WA general manager Nial Stock said the company had conditionally purchased 1500 hectares of land at Allawuna Farm, with the intention of asking the Shire of York to rezone it from agricultural to industrial.
Discussions are also under way with the Department of Environment and Conservation, Main Roads and the Environment Protection Authority regarding approval processes.
Mr Stock said about 10 per cent of the farm would initially be used for the landfill, which would have an expected lifespan of 30 to 40 years.
The York landfill site would replace the company’s jointly owned facility at Shale Road, near Byford, one of six major landfill sites across the Perth metropolitan area.
St Ronans would become the first major landfill site outside the metropolitan region.
Existing major waste centres at Red Hill, Tamala Park, Henderson, Armadale and Millay Road are all within 25km of the Perth CBD.
SITA will soon submit an official application to the Shire of York for permission to construct the St Ronans landfill site, which would accept municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial waste, construction and demolition waste, and asbestos.
Mr Stock said the Shire had been professional in its approach in early discussions with the waste company.
“There has been interest in what we have to say,” he said.
If the plan is given approval, Mr Stock said SITA hoped to start construction of the new landfill site in late 2013 or early 2014.
Shire President Tony Boyle confirmed the SITA talks and said the development could result in reduced waste disposal costs for the local community.
However, he said the proposal was unlikely to affect the council’s waste management contract with Avon Waste.
It has been suggested that locally collected York waste could be sent to the SITA landfill, although it would not be open to the general public.
“Any waste containing asbestos will need to meet strict environmental regulations and the licence conditions imposed by the Department of Environment and Conservation,” Mr Boyle said.
He said the council would place any development application received from SITA on public exhibition, in accordance with the planning regulations, and seek community public comment.
SITA is expected to unveil its plans for the landfill to the community at a public meeting in York at 2pm on November 19.