Cleared freehold land on Steptoe Street in Bundaberg will be used temporarily to store, reuse and recycle road construction materials.
A year after Council officers flagged the proposal, roads and drainage portfolio spokesman Cr Bill Trevor said the three-hectare short-term facility would soon be operational.
“We identified the need for interim storage early last year when the State Government moved to introduce their waste levy,” Cr Trevor said.
“Our road crews have to extract and use rocks and gravel on many of their projects.
“It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to dispose of this at Council landfill sites.
“It’s better for the environment and saves ratepayers’ money to temporarily store and reuse earthmoving materials.”
Cr Trevor said several potential sites were investigated but Steptoe Street was the most suitable.
“It will relieve pressure on another facility in Orr Street, Bundaberg East, which is closer to homes and businesses,” he said.
“The material will be sorted there, mixed and rubbish removed.
“Most of it will be reused on construction and maintenance projects in one way or another.”
Cr Trevor said there would be minimal truck movements and dust.
“Depending on the construction schedule, it might be just one day every few weeks that anyone sees activity there,” he said.
“Access to walking tracks in the area will be preserved.”
Cr Trevor said he envisaged private-sector operators would see an opportunity in future to store, recycle and reuse earthmoving materials, relieving the need for Council to maintain its own facility.
“We’ve seen entrepreneurs adapt to the State Government waste levy by introducing commercial services for recycling concrete and reusing green waste,” he said.
“It’s only a matter of time before someone does the same with earthmoving materials.
“Our medium-term plan over the next few years is to rehabilitate the Steptoe Street site and preserve it as public open space.”
Cr Trevor said he understood that some people had concerns about the proximity to Baldwin Swamp.
“It’s freehold land and the intended use complies with all relevant planning and environmental legislation,” he said.
“The temporary usage will have minimal long-term impact and there’s an opportunity for environmental use to be prioritised in the future, including revegetation.”