Gunnedah Waste Management Facility is changing the way it accepts garbage and recyclables.

The days of driving to the tip face and dumping waste into the Gunnedah landfill will be replaced with a modern, efficient bin system.

A new four-bay ‘LBin’ system will be built adjacent to the existing administration building at the waste management facility.

Gunnedah Shire Council director of planning and environmental services Andrew Johns said the new waste transfer system will improve efficiency of the waste collection and make it safer for the public to access the facility.

“Presently members of the public are on the tip face, interacting with large plant,” he said.

“This will allow people to dispose of waste into L bins and when the bins are full, [council] will take it away.”

Gunnedah shire councillor Rob Hooke spoke highly of the concept which is already in use at neighbouring local governments across the region.

Cr Hooke attended the 2023 Waste Management Conference where the Lbins were exhibited.

He said there was great potential for Gunnedah moving forward with this project.

“It is very impressive,” Cr Hooke said.

“It’s not only going to add safety when people tip their waste but be far more efficient for staff.”

An artist’s impression of the new four-bay Lbin system that will be used to accept waste at Gunnedah Waste Management Facility.

A development application lodged last year by the applicant, Gunnedah Shire Council, and approved by elected members, described how the “four deposition bays” will be managed at the waste facility.

“The site will assist with the management of waste within the site by creating a centralised disposal location that limits customer interactions with the landfill area of the site specifically,” the application stated.

“Waste will be placed in a separate deposition area for more controlled management of waste prior to its disposal to the landfill area.

“The development will not alter the types of volumes of waste accepted or received at the Gunnedah Waste Management Facility.”

A return traffic study conducted as part of the application noted that 132 vehicles visiting the waste management facility on a single day.

However, the proposed access road is designed to have sufficient, queuing, maneuvering and parking areas within the site to ensure that traffic is contained within the site.

This included turning circles plans for cars, ridged trucks and cars towing trailers.

The development application also said the new facility was expected to generate two additional staff members.

Gunnedah Shire Council’s manager waste, Sheridan Cameron, said the extra boots on the ground was long overdue and will also support the waste facility’s increasing demands.

An overview of the Lbin development to be built adjacent to the Gunnedah Waste Facility administration building.

“For the last 20 years the staff level has been the same and operational needs have increased and require more staff to ensure day to day operations are met, staff coverage is balanced and compliance with the site’s Environmental Protection Licence and aging work force,” Ms Cameron said.

“Additional staffing levels will ensure that staff coverage is met and to prevent strain on the day-to-day operations particularly when staff are on leave.

“The last 20 years the Domestic Waste Management (DMW) budget has existed with nine staff and it’s time to increase the staffing levels to support increase in operational duties such as landfill operations, pumping of leachate and other water systems, tyre recycling, mattress recycling and general site maintenance duties.

“Due to recent flood events and the impacts of COVID 19, council has been placed in a position where we are required to find further efficiencies to help better utilise our current resources.

“To adapt to our operational requirements, we now find ourselves needing to multi-skill our existing staff across a number of items of plant and machinery, to ensure flexibility and rotation among work crews to meet operational work within designated timeframes.  Succession planning within the team due to an ageing workforce is also a major consideration.”

Council also said quotations have been sought to construct the new Lbins which will be fully funded by the DWM budget.

To order photos from this page click here