Veolia has developed a new general solid waste rail transfer facility at an existing industrial site in Banksmeadow, in Sydney’s south. The development of this infrastructure is fundamental to the security and advancement of environmentally sustainable resource recovery solutions for NSW.
The facility receives up to 400,000 tonnes of waste per annum, with mixed household and commercial waste containerised for transfer to Veolia’s site at Woodlawn by rail for treatment and resource recovery. In the coming months, all dry recyclable material will be consolidated and transferred to Veolia’s new recycling facility currently being scoped in Camellia.
This is a significant piece of state infrastructure which is consistent with government policy, utilising the freight rail network for transport and facilitating greater resource recovery, by opening up access to remote treatment solutions to form part of Sydney’s long-term waste strategy. This facility further supports existing source separated initiatives such as kerbside recycling. It helps meet the NSW Government’s targets for waste reduction and will lead to better outcomes for the environment by minimising the amount of waste going to landfill.
The facility provides choice and competition for the region, delivering a much needed innovative and sustainable resource recovery solution that can respond to local government and commercial demands now and into the future. This is supported by Southern Sydney Region of Councils’ recent confirmation of Veolia as the preferred supplier for its long term Advanced Waste Treatment contract, which will increase the recovery of resources from their waste stream.
Veolia encourages all local residents and businesses to visit Planning and Infrastructure's website to view the plans for the Banksmeadow Transfer Terminal.
Creating and Delivering Solutions
Veolia has operated the Woodlawn Bioreactor, a secure, engineered landfill facility, located 250 km south west of Sydney, since 2004, providing a solution for the management of 20% of Sydney’s residual household and commercial waste via the Clyde Transfer Terminal.
Other activities on the site include green energy generation, aquaculture and horticulture, windfarming, and agriculture. The proposed mechanical biological treatment facility producing compost for mine site rehabilitation will compliment these existing innovative and sustainable initiatives on site.
Veolia has undertaken to rehabilitate the former Woodlawn mine site to rectify the environmental disturbance caused by over 20 years of mining activities. This includes the reclamation of the mine void with stabilised waste and progressive remediation of other contaminated areas through application of compost from the proposed facility.
The utilisation of the Woodlawn site to it’s maximum permitted capacity, through the development of resource recovery solutions is dependent on developing additional transfer infrastructure in Sydney.
Veolia has proven experience operating the Clyde facility, one of the most efficient transfer facilities in the world, with noise reduction and odour management systems that have set new environmental and technical benchmarks for waste facilities. Now at capacity, the rail transport solution is already reducing local truck movements by 37,500 per annum.
The Banksmeadow facility will replicate this best practice, and could further reduce the number of truck movements on Sydney’s roads by an additional 30,000 per annum.
Working with Local Communities
Veolia has over 100 years of global experience positively engaging with local communities and stakeholders and is committed to minimising the impact of its activities on the local environment. This includes working with local Councils to develop waste education programs for schools and interested community groups and establishing community liaison groups within the areas we operate.
Veolia also has a history of funding local community projects through partnership with relevant local councils. For example, at Woodlawn, Veolia in partnership with Goulburn Mulwaree Council established the Mulwaree Trust. The principle purpose of the fund is to contribute to projects that significantly improve the lives and environment of the communities within the Goulburn Mulwaree Shire and surrounding regions.
As part of our investigation into the Banksmeadow Transfer Terminal, Veolia has undertaken a dedicated program of consultation with government and community stakeholders.
Additional environmental / pollution monitoring reports can be found in the reports section of our site.
Banksmeadow Transfer Terminal Q&A
What waste streams are received at the facility?
At full capacity, the facility is capable of receiving up to 400,000 tonnes per annum of putrescible waste (mixed waste including food from the municipal and commercial sector). This waste is delivered to the facility in enclosed waste collection trucks, before being compacted and placed in sealed containers for rail transport to Veolia’s site at Woodlawn for subsequent treatment, recycling and energy recovery.
The facility is also approved to receive up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of non-putrescible (dry) waste (from the municipal, commercial and industrial sectors) for transfer to a new material recycling facility currently being scoped in Camellia. The Camellia Recycling Centre will recover recyclable material for reprocessing into secondary markets and diversion from landfill.
Where does the waste come from?
The majority of waste comes from households in the South Sydney region. It is delivered to the facility by waste trucks, including household waste from Botany Bay, Rockdale, Woollahra, Waverley and Kogarah Councils, as well as from commercial businesses in the region.
What infrastructure has been built on site?
The construction phase involved the development of our waste transfer building, as well as associated road and rail infrastructure, including:
- improvements to the signalled intersection at Beauchamp Road and Perry Street, together with a dedicated internal access road for waste trucks entering and exiting the facility
- incoming and outgoing weighbridges to check the waste type and weight of the waste being delivered to the facility
- an enclosed warehouse style building for the unloading and handling of waste, with environmental controls such, as dust suppression and odour control systems
- two compaction units to load waste into fully sealed shipping containers
- a container handling area for temporary storage and manoeuvring of full and empty sealed shipping containers prior to loading on to trains, and
- two rail sidings for the loading of containers onto trains for rail transport to Woodlawn.
Why has this facility been built?
The region currently lacks choice in potential solutions for putrescible waste management, and this facility now provides an affordable and sustainable option for the future, resulting in improved environmental and financial outcomes for waste generators in the region, such as local Councils and businesses.
This facility enables an increase in the recovery of resources from the municipal, and commercial and industrial waste sectors, by creating a transfer point for waste to be delivered to other treatment and recovery facilities. This helps the NSW Government and Local Councils meet their resource recovery targets.
The development of this facility will also result in a significant reduction in the number of heavy vehicle movements across the greater Sydney region, by transporting the putrescible waste by rail to Veolia’s Woodlawn site.
Why was this site chosen?
Veolia undertook a comprehensive investigation of potential sites across the Sydney metropolitan area and examined a number of locations. The site at Banksmeadow was considered the most suitable based on the following factors:
- Accessibility to the freight rail network - which will reduce the number of heavy vehicles on Sydney roads
- Appropriate zoning for industrial use
- Proximity to residential and commercial waste generators in the southern Sydney region that currently lack choice in waste management and resource recovery
What was the planning approval process?
The facility meets the criteria for a waste management facility that is considered a State Significant Development under the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011. Therefore, a development application (DA) was required by NSW Planning and Environment.
To support this DA, Veolia prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to identify and address any potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed development. The EIS was placed on public exhibition to provide an opportunity for anyone to have their say on the project.
As a State Significant Development, the project was assessed under the NSW Environmental Planning Assessment Act 1979, by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
The Department of Planning and Environment recommended approval of the project with condition a referred the determination onto the NSW Planning Assessment Comission.
The Planning Assessment Commission approved the project subject to condition under Ministerial delegation.
What are the potential environmental impacts?
Veolia prepared a detailed EIS to address any potential environmental impacts and consider, where necessary, suitable mitigation measures to minimise potential impacts. This included air quality and odour management, noise, traffic, soil and water, waste management, and socio economics impacts. Key issues addressed in the EIS Include:
A comprehensive traffic report found there would be minimal impact on existing traffic volumes.
Based on community feedback, truck routes were restricted to arterial roads and the use of local streets has been limited. Importantly, access to and from the site is prohibited via Perry Street.
Our current estimates indicate that 108 trucks access the site over any 24-hour period, representing less than 1% of the current traffic volume on Beauchamp Road. At full capacity, it is estimated that up to 371 trucks would access the site over any 24-hour period, representing approximately 3% of the current traffic volume.
One train per day transfers the containerised waste by rail to Woodlawn.
Veolia has used international best-practice in facility design and environmental management systems for air quality and odour control. All putrescible waste received at the facility is containerised in purpose built sealed shipping containers and a forced air ventilation system has been installed for odour control & dust suppression within the building.
The EIS included an assessment of potential odour impacts based on control measures similar to those at Veolia’s existing Clyde Transfer Terminal, which has been operating to strict environmental standards for over ten years.
The site has had several industrial uses in the past, which has resulted in some low level contamination. Any remediation works required was undertaken as part of the development of the site and signed off by an EPA accredited site auditor to ensure the site is suitable for use as a transfer terminal.
The facility provides a transfer point for waste to be delivered to treatment and resource recovery facilities. At full capacity, the facility will contribute to the diversion of approximately 30% of waste from landfill.
The facility creates choice in the region and helps reduce the increasing costs of waste management for Councils, businesses and the community.
Veolia also has a local employment and purchasing policy, which will create employment opportunities.
A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) was prepared in consultation with the relevant government agencies for approval by the Department of Planning and Environment. The CEMP included the various sub-plans to address specific environmental aspects relevant to the development including air quality, traffic, noise, soil and water, waste, site contamination and landscaping.
What consultation was undertaken as part of this project?
Veolia is committed to and is actively engaged with the local community and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone is aware of the proposed development and can provide comments and feedback.
Over the past few years, Veolia has consulted with local, state and Commonwealth agencies, and local community groups and their concerns were considered and addressed during the planning assessment process.
Veolia was committed to keeping the community informed about the details of the project and liaised with representatives from the local community to provide updates on the project.
Veolia has also established a 1800 community information line and dedicated email address to respond to queries. This community information line was maintained during the construction phase of the development.
How does Veolia work with local communities in which it operates?
Veolia is firmly committed to the communities within which we work, recognising that we need to form partnerships with the community if we are to work effectively.
Veolia has extensive experience working with local communities, including developing waste education programs for local Councils, schools and interested community groups and establishing community liaison groups within the areas we operate.
Veolia is committed to fostering sustainability through the support of relevant environmental, social and cultural initiatives, which promote and protect the communities within which we operate. Veolia has a history of funding local community projects in partnership with relevant local Councils. For example, at Woodlawn, Veolia in partnership with Goulburn Mulwaree Council established the Mulwaree Trust. The principle purpose of the fund is to contribute to projects that significantly improve the lives and environment of the communities within the Goulburn Mulwaree Shire and surrounding regions.
What happens when the waste reaches Woodlawn?
Once the waste arrives at Woodlawn from Banksmeadow it will be delivered either to our new Woodlawn Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) Facility, which is currently in its testing phase, or to our existing Woodlawn Bioreactor, which is a secure, engineered landfill facility, with energy recovery, that has been operating since 2004.
The Woodlawn Bioreactor currently provides a solution for the management of approximately 20% of Sydney’s putrescible waste via the Clyde Transfer Terminal.
Other activities on site at Woodlawn include green energy generation, aquaculture and horticulture, wind farming, and agriculture. The new mechanical biological treatment facility producing compost for mine site rehabilitation will complement these existing sustainable initiatives.
Veolia has undertaken to rehabilitate the former Woodlawn mine site to rectify the environmental disturbance caused by over 20 years of mining activities. This includes the reclamation of the mine void with stabilised waste and progressive remediation of other contaminated areas through application of compost produced from the new MBT facility which is currently in its testing phase.
Is the facility now operational?
Yes, in September 2016 Banksmeadow Transfer Terminal commenced operations.
How can I find out more information?
The Development Consent and EIS are available on the Department of Planning and Environment's website.
To find out more about the Banksmeadow Transfer Terminal, please refer to the following contact details:
Community information phone line: 1800 252 040 during business hours
Email: [email protected]