Gunnedah Shire Council says although the new bin system planned for its waste management facility will create greater efficiencies, more staff will still be required on site to meet increasing demand in other areas.

As reported in last week’s Gunnedah Times, a development application detailed how council will build a new four-bay ‘LBin’ system adjacent to the existing administration building at the waste management facility.

The “deposition centre” will allow users to drop off non recyclable waste materials into large bins, which are taken away by council when full.

It was noted the new system would create a safer environment for members of the public and staff than the current methods where users drive their personal vehicles to the tip face.

Council also described it as substantially more efficient. But due to increasing demands in other areas of the waste management facility, an additional two staff would be required when the development is complete.

Gunnedah Shire Council’s manager waste, Sheridan Cameron, said the facility’s existing staff load of nine has not changed in two decades and extra support is needed.

“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 ageing 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 consideration.”

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

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