July 24th 2009
“Mitre 11” will end unless we lobby TCC
The Magnetic Island landfill tip at Picnic Bay, affectionately known to locals as "Mitre 11", because of the informal recycling that has occurred there as residents drop off and collect other people's "rubbish", will effectively end, as a local source of recycled materials next year, unless residents who want to retain the "Mitre 11" capability make their thoughts known to Council.
A state-of-the-art waste transfer station to transport all refuse off Magnetic Island will be due for completion in late 2010, replacing the near-capacity Picnic Bay landfill.
Council's Environment and Sustainability Committee Chair, Cr Vern Veitch, told Magnetic Times, “The main thing that will change is that people will dump their stuff into big bins rather than onto the ground.”
When asked whether Council had considered allowing a recycling business to set up at the site as part of the changes, Cr Veitch said that he wasn't sure if TCC waste experts had considered this but agreed that, with the new station, it was, "much harder to put things aside that others could pull out."
Kerbside recycling of ordinary household items has been in operation on Magnetic for several years. This collection is taken directly to Townsville for sorting.
As for the many larger items of timber, furiture and metal items which are not part of kerbside recycling, Cr Veitch advised that, "Residents need to make their thoughts known to either Cr Trevor Roberts (Magnetic Island's Councillor) or myself and I will feed it into the system and hopefully make it part of the process."
Whatever solution might be sought, according to Cr Veitch, Council would not accept it if it was to lead to extra work and expense for Council staff.
Council has allocated $1.5 million this financial year for the design and construction of the waste station on the island.
Many Islanders have expressed annoyance that, under the previous Council administration, developers were able avoid taking their bulky building waste to Townsville and used the Picnic Bay landfill for some of the Island's largest projects – subsequently speeding up the process by which the tip has been filled.
Cr Veitch, however, advised that the new transfer facility would not cause an increase in tip charges.
The new facility will provide all-weather access for residents to drop off waste into a bin system for transport to the mainland for disposal.
Cr Veitch said that building products were already recycled at a profit at the Stuart Landfill. These sales help cover most of the labour costs at the landfill.
Note to international readers: "Mitre 11" is a reference to Mitre 10, a large Australian hardware chain.
Story & photo: George Hirst
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