Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) should merge its waste services with Penrith to allow beleaguered Blaxland tip to close its landfill and instead become a transfer station, according to the deputy mayor.
Ward 4 Clr Mark Greenhill has called for a complete overhaul of the city’s waste services amid revelations Blaxland tip was still causing major problems for surrounding residents, with "the bigger it gets the more it seems to stink and impact locals".
"Blaxland tip could be closed to landfill but remain a transfer station so that people could continue to drop their rubbish off as they always have," he said in a statement.
"Blue Mountains council could merge its waste services with Penrith and we could collectively purchase space at an external and best practice landfill facility outside the region, as many other councils do.
"Our joint purchasing power could ensure a good outcome. The bottom line is that Blue Mountains must retain weekly collections, and we must retain the capacity to be able to drop our waste at Blaxland.
"The difference is it won’t be landfilled there anymore."
His fellow Labor candidate in Ward 4, Anton Von Schulenburg, said any change in waste collection mustn’t cost ratepayers any extra money.
"But there is no place in the Mountains for a supertip," he said.
A cloud was cast over the tip’s future in May this year after the EPA and BMCC found its high levels of landfill and an open trench of waste was causing an unusually foul odour in the area.
BMCC stated at the time that resolving the issue was a "top priority", and in June Mayor Daniel Myles and Clr Greenhill announced the council was confident it had found the source of the stench.
Analysis undertaken at the time showed that while excavating the site to build a new cell, the company undertaking the work may have opened part of an old cell allowing gases to escape and produce odour.
Work then started to close the cell and make the smell disappear.
But Clr Greenhill has gone a step further and called for the tip to be closed to landfill altogether, as well as for the introduction of green bin funding for green material.
"Almost half our landfill in the Mountains is green material," he said.
"Reducing it would reduce the cost of transferring waste out of the city. Joint purchasing with Penrith can avoid upward pressure on rates.
"These reforms could then be coupled with an on-call collection service where people pre-book their annual collections. This prevents the current circumstance where waste is left by the roadside for weeks on end.
"My information is that an on-call system would be no more expensive that the current process where rubbish is left out."
Clr Greenhill said that, if re-elected, he would call for a report to consider the matters.
"My vision, and that of my running mates Anton and Helen, is for a cleaner, greener waste system in the Blue Mountains, one that is cost effective and that works for residents," he said.