Stop Expanding Waste Mountains - sustainable waste management instead

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Stop Expanding Waste Mountains - sustainable waste management instead

EPA, and the Victorian Government, approved a 25-year expansion for both Werribee and Ravenhall landfills.  Community opposition to the loss of amenity, foul odours, dust and the unsightly ‘mountains of waste’ was ignored.

25-year works approvals are a new development for these landfills.  They exclude a whole generation from any rights to review the operation of such landfills.

These decisions were made without:

o  proper consultation;

o  serious consideration of the adverse impacts upon the community;

o  taking into account the principles of Environmental Justice espoused in the recent widespread EPA review;

o  any consideration or guidance to implement any of the technologies available to manage our “waste” and recover its embedded resource value (including embedded energy and water) instead of building vulnerable and risky “mountains of waste”.

This will entrench the long term “dump it in a hole” mentality and will create an unfair environmental and amenity imposition on nearby communities.

We, the undersigned, call on the Victorian Government to effectively implement its resource recovery policies and enforce the waste hierarchy to make landfill a genuinely last resort option. Priority must be given to the establishment of alternative technologies aimed at separating and recovering resources instead of allowing valuable resources to be placed in ‘landfills’ and creating smelly and unsightly waste mountains.

Resource recovery must include:

o  Limiting landfill height to a maximum of 5 metres above surrounding ground level and landscaping to fit in with the topography.

o  Rescinding past approvals for heights above 5 metres above surrounding ground level.  

o  Limiting quantities of permitted waste allowed to be dumped to avoid environmental, health and amenity impacts on nearby communities.

o  Reducing the 25-year approvals of the Werribee and Ravenhall to a maximum of 5-years with reduced allowable height.

o  Abandoning the philosophy of centralised waste in three or four major landfills in order to reduce transport costs and emissions, landfill monopolies and the continuation of disproportionate impacts on nearby communities.

o  Promote decentralised waste and resource recovery systems to ensure the burdens and risks are more fairly spread.

o  Review landfill levies to bring them in line with New South Wales to help make resource recovery the preferred option when avoidance is not practical. 

o  Actively promote the separation of waste at its source.

o  Establish heavy fines for recalcitrant waste makers.

o  Actively promote 100% recyclable packaging with legislative backup.

 



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