Recycling centre remains closed; interim waste measures in place

Tuesday, 13 August

The Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre in Wyrallah Road, East Lismore, will remain closed until the fire in the compost piles is extinguished and damage to the Materials Recovery Facility is assessed.

The fire, which started on Sunday morning in the compost piles and Materials Recovery Facility, was quickly contained by emergency service personnel in the recycling building but the compost piles continue to smoulder.

Now that the strong winds have abated, the compost piles are being turned and saturated with water to fully extinguish the fire. This could take several days.

Smoke from the fire could potentially be harmful to people with respiratory or lung problems, and warnings remain in place for residents that can smell or see smoke to stay indoors with windows and doors closed until the smoke subsides or use a respirator if venturing outside.

People with asthma who can see or smell smoke can collect free respirators at the Bunnings trade desk by showing ID with a residential address within or around Lismore.

Council has put in place interim measures for the collection and disposal of waste while the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre is closed and damage to the Materials Recovery Facility is assessed.

“There are currently delays to waste collection across the city, particularly with green organics bins. We are urging residents to be patient and leave bins out until they are emptied,” Council’s Executive Director of Infrastructure Services Gary Murphy said.

“The collection of green waste is complicated by the yellow crazy ant exclusion zones still in place. Green waste collected in Lismore cannot be disposed of elsewhere without approval from the Department of Primary Industries. We are currently working with the department to implement a solution but this is causing some delays to our collections.”

In the short-term while the Materials Recovery Facility is inoperable, Council will transport recycling from Lismore to Chinderah for processing while general waste will continue to go to Ipswich via Richmond Valley.

The Brewster Street Drop-off Centre has reopened today and the Nimbin Transfer Station will be open Tuesday to Saturday this week, with additional staff in place. Residents are able to use waste vouchers at this location.

Animals from the Lismore Pound have been moved to Ballina Pound and the Animal Rights & Rescue Group to ensure they are not harmed should the wind direction change and smoke infiltrate the facility.

“The fire has raised a series of complex issues around managing our waste and recycling, and our other operations on site. Council is working through these issues as quickly as we can to ensure the least disruption to residents,” Gary said.

“Our major focus in the short-term is to extinguish the fire. Once this has been done we can focus on assessing damage to the facility and get an idea of what works need to take place immediately in order to reopen the facility to the public.”


Key community information:

  • The Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre at Wyrallah Road, East Lismore, will remain closed until further notice due to the fire that occurred on Sunday.
  • Compost piles continue to smoulder and produce smoke. Council is now turning these piles and saturating them with water to extinguish the fire. This could take several days.
  • Community members that can see or smell smoke should stay indoors with windows and doors closed or use a respirator outside. Residents should turn off heating and cooling systems if these draw air from outside.
  • People with asthma who can see or smell smoke can collect free respirators at the Bunnings trade desk by showing ID with a residential address within or around Lismore.
  • There are delays to waste collection across the city, particularly with green organics bins. Residents are asked to put bins out as they normally would and leave bins out until they are emptied.
  • Interim measures are in place for the disposal of recycling and general waste. Council is working with the Department of Primary Industries to work out a solution for the disposal of green waste as this cannot leave the yellow crazy ant exclusion zone.
  • The Brewster Street Drop-off Centre has reopened today. The Nimbin Transfer Station will be open Tuesday to Saturday this week, with additional staff in place. Residents are able to use waste vouchers at this location.

 

If you can smell smoke, please note:

  • Smoke can affect people’s health.
  • People with pre-existing health problems, heart or lung conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women and older people are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.
     

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