The future of Blaxland tip is under a cloud after the EPA and Blue Mountains City Council found its high levels of landfill and an open trench of waste is causing an unusually foul odour in the area.
Deputy mayor Mark Greenhill has called for a review of the facility’s future as a long-term solution to the landfill and odour problem.
“Council needs to start planning for the future. Local families cannot be left to live like this,” he said.
“Any future solution would need to involve a local transfer station, like the present Blaxland tip site. That way people can still drop their waste at their local tip. It will just be taken somewhere else later and thus not become part of the decomposing landfill that is causing so much trouble for local residents.”
A Blue Mountains City Council spokeswoman said resolving the issue was a “top priority” and the council had already taken a number of interim measures to alleviate the odours.
“Council is taking the matter of landfill odour seriously and recognises that the odour is disturbing for those residents whose lives are being affected by it,” she said.
Councillor Greenhill will take an urgency motion to the council calling for immediate action over smells that are coming from the tip. The EPA has revealed the extent of decomposing waste at the facility is causing a stench that affects residents in parts of Warrimoo and Blaxland.
Clr Greenhill’s urgency motion calls for immediate action to prevent the current emissions as well as a review of the tip’s future.
“The tip has become a supertip. Rather than being a Lower Mountains facility it now services the whole Blue Mountains. It is just bursting at the seams,” he said.
“Council needs to plan for the eventual closure of this tip and access to another facility at some time — and this cannot be on the never never.
“Residents throughout the immediate area are reduced to locking all their windows and doors. People tell me they go outside at certain times covering their mouths. This cannot go on forever.”
The council conducted a letterbox drop yesterday (Tuesday) to inform neighbouring residents of the cause of the recent odours at the tip and the action council was taking to solve the problems.
But the spokeswoman said a long-term solution could be some time away.
“The issues are complex and may take some time to be fully resolved however council is committed to implementing steps to reduce or eliminate the current problem as soon as possible,” she said.
The council has committed up to $120,000 for a landfill gas capture trial at Blaxland tip and is currently in the process of getting quotes for this service.
“Council will be commencing a comprehensive Waste and Resource Management Strategy for the City in 2012-13 to guide future waste management in the city,” said the spokeswoman.
“Based on the current patterns of waste generated by the community, the Blaxland Waste Management Facility has a lifespan of approximately 18 years,” she said.