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Brooklyn residents breathe easier after waste decision

BROOKLYN residents are happy with the confirmation that a smelly organic waste-processing plant will not be put on their doorstep.

The Metropolitan Waste Management Group has announced that green waste, which includes food scraps and garden refuse, from 11 Melbourne councils - including Hobsons Bay - will be processed in Werribee and Bulla from 2012/13.

It’s understood a number of companies vying for the lucrative tender wanted their site in the Brooklyn industrial estate - the source of foul smells for years.

Williamstown state Labor MP Wade Noonan indicated community lobbying had played a part in the location of the new plant.

“I have no doubt that environmental outcomes and community concerns were a factor in this decision,” Mr Noonan said.

“MWMG was made aware of local concerns about this contract and the potential for major community backlash if Brooklyn was to be selected as a preferred site.”

Brooklyn organic processor Sita told the Leader it would review its operations after it didn’t win the contract.

Sita, which has a poor track record in odour breaches, had invested heavily in reducing its smells from its liquid-effluent processing but needed to win the tender to justify processing its organic waste indoors.

For Bruce Light, spokesman for Yarraville-based On the Nose, it was “fantastic news” the plant would not be in Brooklyn.

But he said Sita had been one of the few Brooklyn companies co-operating with the EPA and local residents to reduce odours.

“They have been very co-operative to try and meet requirements,” Mr Light said.

Any rate increase to fund the new processing plants (in Werribee and Bulla) was worth it, he said.

“It’s a small price to pay to get clean air in the western suburbs.” Hobsons Bay Council director Peter Gaschk said the city’s cost of collecting and processing green waste would now jump about $220,000 a year.

A green-waste collection service, including a third bin, has been available in Hobsons Bay since 2004.

Williamstown Ward’s Cr Angela Altair, who toured organic waste sites in NSW last year, said there would be major environmental benefits citywide.

“Initially it may cost a bit more, but it will be good for our residents because we will be able to recycle a lot more,” she said.

Veolia Environmental Services was named the preferred tenderer earlier this month.

Source: Hobsons Bay Leader:

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