Maidenwell will get a new waste transfer station by mid-2022 that will minimise visual pollution in the town, but plans to spend as much as $350,000 to install bigger bins and automate waste pick-up are unlikely to see the light of day

May 13, 2021

Maidenwell will get a new waste transfer station soon … but it will probably not be automated after councillors queried the estimated $350,000 cost.

At Wednesday’s standing committee meeting, South Burnett councillors heard the waste transfer station on the town’s southern approach was less than ideal.

Waste dumped in skip bins was often visible to tourists travelling on Kingaroy-Cooyar Road, despite efforts to hide it behind screens.

And the idea of moving the dump on to the adjoining J.A. Gorton Sportsground had been discounted because it would reduce the sportsground’s amenity.

However, recent negotiations with an adjoining land owner will allow Council to build a new waste transfer station further back from the road and out of public view.

To prevent non-residents using the dump site – a common cause of overflowing refuse at the existing transfer station – the new facility will be fenced and be swipe card accessible to local residents.

But an idea of introducing automated facilities to hoist larger skip bins on to waste cartage trucks raised eyebrows.

Mayor Brett Otto said he was keen to reconsider the matter: “$350,000 is a lot of money,” he said.

“Is there a real need for an automated transfer station? And will we require an extra truck and driver if we move away from (the current) skip bins?”

Communities general manager Peter O’May confirmed using bigger skip bins would require a bigger truck to cart the waste away.

Cr Kirstie Schumacher said she had been having similar thoughts to the Mayor.

“How many Maidenwell residents currently receive a waste collection service from (contractor) J.J. Richards?” she asked.

“And who is missing out?”

Cr Kathy Duff agreed the current site was “not a good look” for Maidenwell and suggested Council move the skip bins to the new, fenced site but leave the rest of the waste collection system as it was .

Mayor Otto reminded Councillors the SBRC may be forced to install a weighbridge at Nanango tip at some point in the next few years and if so, Council would be facing a $550,000 bill for it.

Waste portfolio chair Cr Ros Frohloff told the meeting Council was currently negotiating with the State Department of Resources about the Maidenwell project.

Pending a favourable final decision, construction of the new transfer station could begin in the next few months, with completion scheduled for June 2022.

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