State of the Environment Report title
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2004 Report



Snowy River

Solid Waste

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Snowy River

Both waste to landfill and resource recovery increased over the reporting period by around one-third. However, only two percent of the total waste stream is diverted from landfill for resource recovery. The result is an overall increase in waste to landfill over four years of more than 3500 tonnes. The increase in recycled materials was less than 80 tonnes.

During the reporting period Council addressed some of the waste disposal issues that were reported in the previous State of the Environment report. These include more accurate recording of waste to landfill and separate recording of private deliveries from domestic collections. Council's participation on the South East Waste Board and in the Monaro Regional Waste Strategy also facilitated closure of tips with limited life and a more strategic regional approach to waste disposal.

The waste stream

Resource use in the Snowy River Shire is significantly influenced by influxes of tourists, particularly during the winter, and increasingly, during summer. Visitor numbers also vary from one year to the next. Managing the waste stream in such circumstances thus presents challenges, particularly for commercial waste.

Council is a member of the South East Waste Board and of the Monaro Regional waste strategy. The Landfill Environmental Management Plan was under review at the end of the reporting period.

Although no actual targets have been set, over time Council would like to achieve as little waste as possible to landfill. Council encourages the reduction of waste through internal policies and education, but greater efforts are needed if recycling is to effectively reduce waste to landfill.

Table 1 shows the relationship between waste to landfill and waste diverted from landfill for resource recovery.

Table 1. Total waste generation in Snowy River Shire, July 2000 to June 2004
TypeAmount of waste generatedChange (%)
00–01 to 03–04
2000–012001–022002–032003–04
Recycled (tonnes)212.9235.3260.928936
Recycled (% of total*)2222
To landfill (tonnes)11,209.4212,572.44.14,741.1514,823.532
To landfill (% of total*)98989898
Total11,422.3212,807.7415,002.0515,112.532

* percentage of total waste stream (landfill plus resource recovery); Source: Snowy River Shire Council

The total waste that needs to be addressed by Council (15,112 tonnes in 2003–04) is the equivalent of 2064 kilograms per person.

Materials diverted from landfill for recycling reduces that figure to some 2024 kilograms of waste that went to landfill in 2003–04 for every person in the Snowy River Shire.

Waste to landfill

Table 2 shows an overall increase of 32% in waste to landfill across the reporting period. The increase is particularly marked for building and demolition waste and, to a lesser extent, for total household waste.

This is the first report in which private deliveries have been identified separately from domestic collections. The high volumes are indicative of the provision of facilities for rural ratepayers and residents to take their waste to central locations. The private figures also encompass private commercial operators that contribute significantly to the figure in the table.

Another reason for the noticeable increase in volume was that more precise records were kept through the last reporting period. There was also an increase in development and population. Finally, the tip at Waste Point that the National Parks used closed during the reporting period and that waste was then transferred to Jindabyne landfill.

The full-time manning of the tipface and the recycling of a number of the materials may explain the relatively stable commercial and industrial figures in a period of strong economic performance.

No estimates were made of illegal dumping as it is not a major issue in the shire and Council does not collect the data.

Table 2. Estimated waste to landfill in Snowy River Shire, July 2000 to June 2004
TypeTonnes of waste to landfillChange (%)
00–01 to 03–04
2000–012001–022002–032003–04
Total household1806.252028.12217.443011.25+67
Domestic collection208.5170.70168.75231.5+11
Private delivery1597.751857.402048.682779.75+74
Commercial and industrial7812.628120.148269.657727.95–1%
Building and demolition1590.552424.24254.064084.3+157
Total11,209.4212,572.4414,741.1514,823.5+32

Source: Snowy River Shire Council

Recycling and other actions to reduce waste

Table 3 shows that the volume of recyclables diverted from the waste stream increased in each year of the reporting period, effecting an overall increase of 36% from 2000–01 to 2003–04. Better services and increased awareness through education programs have led to the community's response. This in turn has the benefit of less volume of waste to landfill.The recycling focus is on paper, glass, plastic, aluminium and steel cans.

Table 3. Resource recovery by type/stream in Snowy River Shire, July 2000 to June 2004
TypeTonnes of waste recoveredChange 2000–01 to 2003–04
2001–022002–032003–04Tonnes%
Paper117129143158+35
Glass52.658.464.872+37
Plastic13.915.417.119+37
Aluminium 9.610.611.713+35
Steel cans19.821.924.327+36
Total212.9235.3260.9289+36

Source: Snowy River Shire Council

Resource implications of waste

Figures were not available for Council's investment in waste management for the year to 30 June 2004.

At 30 June 2004, 19 hectares of Council land were set aside for landfill.

Solid waste from Kosciuszko Road resorts goes to Sawpit Creek landfill in Kosciuszko National Park which is due to close in early 2005–06. The waste from this site will then be transferred to Cooma Landfill as part of Council's regional management plan. Solid waste from Thredbo is transferred to Corryong, Victoria, and building and demolition material has been sent to Jindabyne landfill since Waste Point facility within Kosciuszko National Park closed during the reporting period. The timeframe for the transfer of inert and putrescible waste from the Jindabyne Landfill has been put back until 2008. At that time, the Jindabyne Landfill will then become a transfer station with waste transferred to Cooma landfill.

About the data

Data provided from Snowy River Shire Council records.

The Snowy River Shire Council uses weighbridge records for landfill and kerbside recyclables data.

More information about the Snowy Monaro Regional Waste Strategy can be obtained from http://www.cooma.nsw.gov.au/sustainability/RWSStudy.html.

Per person calculations are on the basis of estimated residential population of Snowy River Shire as at 30 June 2004—7322 people.

For additional information on domestic waste management and recycling services, the Department of Local Government Comparative Information publications report annually on four key performance indicators:

  1. average charge for domestic waste management services per residential property
  2. costs per service for domestic waste collection
  3. recyclables—kilograms per person per year
  4. domestic waste—kilograms per person per year.

These indicators are seen to relate to the economic efficiency and environmental management performance of residential garbage collection services generally provided by councils in urban or town areas.

References

NSW Department of Local Government, Comparative Information http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au (last accessed February 2005, for years 2000–01, 01–02 and 02–03).