ALOA extends its deepest sympathy to the many members of the community who have suffered unfathomable loss as a result of the recent devastating floods. We hope that the recovery of all members of the affected communities has begun, and lives can return to normal in an acceptable timeframe.
It is important that the various types of flood waste are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner as quickly as possible. The method of disposal should minimise the likelihood of environmental harm and prevent stockpiles of rotting waste from becoming a threat to public health. It is for these two reasons that flood waste should be directed to a properly engineered landfill with an impermeable landfill liner and properly designed landfill gas and leachate management infrastructure.
Landfills of this type are key pieces of essential infrastructure serving a vital role in the safe and efficient disposal of a wide range of wastes. They receive materials from domestic and commercial residual waste bins as well as the residual waste produced by waste recycling and recovery operations. Well managed, environmentally compliant and properly licenced landfills perform a critical role within a balanced waste management system serving a modern society. When confronted with the clean up after a major flood disaster, landfill is still the only technology that is robust enough to deal with the problem quickly and safely.
ALOA calls on the Community and Government to remember the devastating impacts of the recent floods and develop Strategic Plans to ensure there is adequate capacity in properly located engineered landfills into the future. “Adequate capacity” means that there is sufficient engineered landfill capacity for flood waste, residual waste from alternative waste treatments, and waste in general which needs to be disposed to landfill until alternative disposal options have the capacity to receive all of the waste currently going to landfill.
ALOA also calls on state governments to seamlessly permit waste to cross state borders without disadvantaging landfill operators, particularly any liability associated with the payment of the various waste management levies. ALOA believes that it is reasonable for regions with limited engineered landfill capacity to divert their waste, caused be a damaging natural event such as flood or bushfire, to other areas with excess engineered landfill capacity, even if these facilities are across a state border.
ALOA is available to assist all governments to develop strategies to ensure adequate capacity within engineered landfills into the future.