Biomass can now clean up
COFFS Harbour’s Biomass plant has benefited from a new exemption provided by NSW Environment Minister Frank Sartor and his department.
Mr Sartor, who was a keynote speaker at the 10th annual Waste Management Conference in Coffs Harbour yesterday, said they had been able to provide an exemption for the processed organic material produced by Biomass and five other alternative waste treatment plants by setting limits on the permissible percentage of glass and plastic and restricting the allowable tonnage per hectare for farm use.
The minister, a qualified chemical engineer, said the previous exemption for waste material set a very tight – ‘almost garden compost’ standard, which had been able to be relaxed.
“If you can’t get rid of the organic material it is very difficult for Alternative Waste Treatment (plants) to work.
“This is not garden compost – it has a measure of glass and plastic material.”
Biomass has been forced to stockpile large quantities of the processed material, which is processed waste from red kerbside bins and commercial collections, because it could not find a market for it.
Mr Sartor said recycling rates in NSW were continuing to rise toward the target of recycling 66 per cent of household waste by 2014 and the Coffs Coast was well ahead of the pack.
He said culture and location could be factors in this, because of the region’s attractive location and large percentage of environmentally-conscious residents.