Australia Adelaide councils to send recycling interstate after fire at Visy's Wingfield facility

08:20  12 april  2021
08:20  12 april  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Adelaide ' s Visy recycling factory at Wingfield catches fire , sending smoke over Adelaide ' s north. About 100 firefighters battled a fierce blaze at a recycling factory north of Adelaide , with bundles of cardboard and plastic fuelling the fire . Authorities were alerted to the fire at the Visy recycling plant on Johansson Road just after 3.30am on Thursday morning.

The Council operated the Wingfield Waste and Recycling landfill site at Dry Creek from 1955 until 2004 for profit. "I also note that the ratepayers of the Council are part of the South Australian community which was placed at risk of harm by the failure of the Council to cap the landfill in accordance with its licence." The Environment Protection Authority' s chief executive, Tony Circelli, welcomed the court' s decision.

a close up of clouds in the dark: Flames engulf the recycling plant at Wingfield in Adelaide. (ABC News) © Provided by ABC NEWS Flames engulf the recycling plant at Wingfield in Adelaide. (ABC News)

Some Adelaide residents could be forced to store their own recyclables until a way is found to process them, after a fire caused extensive damage to one of South Australia's major recycling facilities.

However, the Mayor of Marion, who raised the possibility, said that it was "a last resort".

For now, Visy — the owner of the Wingfield facility — has arranged for a large portion of the recycling that would have been stored and sorted there to instead go to another company-owned plant in Sydney.

Material will also be diverted to another mothballed Visy plant at North Plympton, in Adelaide's south-western suburbs.

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Thousands of tonnes of recyclable waste will instead become landfill, after South Australia' s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was advised it was too degraded to salvage. Key points Almost 400 shipping containers in Adelaide are being used to store recyclable material. That will be sent to a dump north of the city after being deemed unsalvageable. The material was collected and stored inside almost 400 shipping containers for more than two years at Wingfield and Lonsdale by Victorian company SKM Recycling , with the intention for it to be sent to China.

A “SIGNIFICANT” fire at the OneSteel recycling facility in Port Adelaide has been contained by firefighters . At least 11 MFS crews have been dispatched to the centre on Morialta Rd, just north of Port Adelaide , after a fire broke out at 7am. It took 27 firefighters about 45 minutes to contain the blaze.

The Wingfield plant had been used to store and sort waste from 11 Adelaide councils, but sustained more than $1 million worth of damage when fire broke out in piles of paper and plastic early on Thursday morning.

It took about 100 firefighters several hours to contain the blaze, which caused part of the building to collapse.

Before the blaze, the site was processing about 250 tonnes of recycling per day, Environment Protection Authority (EPA) chief executive Tony Circelli told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

He said the recycling would now be baled by Integrated Waste Services and 100 tonnes of it would be sent to Sydney.

The rest will be stored until Visy's North Plympton warehouse is recommissioned.

"A terrible incident but the good news is there was a lot of goodwill on Thursday and Friday last week to find alternative arrangements," Mr Circelli said.

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Travel within Australia. Currently there are no declared COVID-19 hotspots interstate . Where the time between your international flights is more than eight (8) hours, passengers will be required to enter Australia, and will be quarantined in an appropriate facility (for example, a hotel) until it is time to return to the airport for your onward flight.

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Visy did not respond to requests for comment.

Councils planning other solutions

Marion Mayor Kris Hanna said there was a chance that roadside recycling would not be collected.

"Our last resort in a sense is not picking up recyclable material and asking people to store it in their homes," Mr Hanna said.

"It's one of the possibilities on the drawing board, but it's probably a last resort.

"Any other option is clearly going to come with a cost — whether it's opening a closed facility or shipping it interstate."

Three southern Adelaide councils — Onkaparinga, Marion and Holdfast Bay — are planning to open their own "materials recycling facility" at Seaford Heights, while two other councils — Port Adelaide Enfield and Charles Sturt — plan to open a similar plant at Kilburn in September.

The City of Marion's contract with Visy was due to finish at the end of this month, leaving a two-month gap until the opening of the Seaford Heights facility.

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Reprocessing facilities may require further sorting steps to further reduce the amount of non-target and non- recyclable material.[41] Each action along the recycling path plays a part in the quality of recyclate. This process of recycling as well as reusing the recycled material has proven advantageous because it reduces amount of waste sent to landfills, conserves natural resources, saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps create new jobs. Recycled materials can also be converted into new products that can be consumed again, such as paper, plastic, and glass.[56].

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Mr Hanna said the council was hopeful of finding somewhere to deposit residents' recycling in the meantime, but the state government could help by providing extra funding for the southern facility to get it open quicker.

City of Port Adelaide chief executive Mark Withers said his council's new plant had $500,000 worth of fire-proofing to prevent infernos like the one at Wingfield.

"The future-proofing we're doing will see us buy back all of the community's recyclable materials and put it back into products and services," he said.

"It's just a real shame that the fire has happened and short-circuited what was a good news story."

Ten other councils use an unaffected but at-capacity recycling facility in Edinburgh North, in Adelaide's northern suburbs.

Adelaide councils began looking for new recycling solutions after the collapse of SKM Recycling in 2019 following restrictions by China on importing waste, leading to recyclables being sent to landfill.

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