Plans to deal with waste in the Bega Valley have advanced a step further with the awarding of a contract for a new processing plant.
It was announced in June 2023 that the amount of organic waste being collected through Bega Valley Shire Council’s Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) program would necessitate a new plant being built.
SOILCO Pty Ltd was successful with its $24,825,371 tender for the Organics Processing Facility (OPF), which will be built near Wolumla.
Council waste project manager Kimberley Rushbrook said the purpose-built facility would be important in reducing landfill in the Bega Valley.
“Our current organics facility at the Merimbula Waste Transfer Station is no longer able to meet the needs of our growing community,” Ms Rushbrook said.
“The new facility will use the latest technology to process food scraps and garden waste more efficiently and with a greatly reduced impact on the local environment.
“Its new home will be at our Central Waste Facility, which will make it easier and more convenient for contracted waste-collection truck drivers to drop off their loads.”
SOILCO will design, construct and operate the new facility.
“Following an extensive pre-tender process, we are delighted to be partnering with SOILCO to deliver this important project,” Ms Rushbrook said.
“SOILCO is a leading provider of organics-processing services within NSW and we are confident they will operate a facility that meets the needs of our community and the environment.”
When the new facility is complete, council staff will decommission the existing organics facility at the Merimbula Waste Transfer Station.
It is expected that schematic designs for the OPF will be completed by February 2024 and that construction will run from November 2025 to June 2026, once the council has approved the plans.
Ms Rushbrook said it would be operated independently under a 10-year contract, with an opportunity to extend if desired.
“The new OPF will use covered aerated static pile technology with strong odour and leachate controls, which is a significant step up from the existing technology,” she said.
“The facility will also be designed with future expansion in mind to cater for the growing demand for organics recycling.
“As the need to grow organics recycling continues, the new OPF will be a valuable asset as we move towards a waste-free future in the Bega Valley Shire.”
The FOGO program began in the Bega Valley region in 2018.
According to the council’s website, the program involves FOGO bins being collected from about 12,500 properties in the valley.
Residents living within the town limits of Merimbula, Berrambool, Mirador, Bega, Tura Beach, Bermagui, Cobargo, Tathra, Mogareeka, Eden, Wolumla, Kalaru, Pambula, Quaama, Wallaga Lake and Candelo are required to have a FOGO bin.
Further information on the FOGO program can be found online through the council’s website.