1307.8 - Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2007  
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Contents >> Physical Environment >> Waste Management

WASTE MANAGEMENT

The ACT Government initiated the 'No Waste by 2010' strategy in 1996 as its way of managing waste in the ACT. This strategy aims to utilise all unwanted material as a resource rather than sending it to landfill sites, and target prevention, reduction, reuse and recycling as ways of minimising waste.


The ACT Government operates three waste management sites within the ACT. Parkwood Road Recycling Estate at Macgregor is specifically for recyclable goods and does not accept garbage, while Mitchell Resource Management Centre and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre accept both recyclables and garbage. The Hume Resource Recovery Estate is currently being developed in stages adjacent to the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre. The Hume estate is to house recovery, reprocessing and resale of materials, lessening the number which end up in landfill. There are also a series of regional recycling centres.


According to ACT Resource Recovery industries 75% of ACT waste was recovered while 25% went to landfill. This means that 192,313 tonnes of waste went to landfill in 2005-06. Recovery has increased every year for the last 6 years from 61% in 2000-01.

2.5 Resource recovery (a), ACT
Graph: 2.5 Resource recovery (a), ACT



The amount of paper resource recovered increased from 46,923 tonnes in 2004-05 to 54,576 tonnes in 2005-06. Demolition waste was the only waste type to decrease in the amount recovered from 2004-05 to 2005-06, from 241,956 tonnes to 221,836 tonnes. Building and demolition waste going to landfill also dropped from 29,737 tonnes to 22,320 tonnes.

2.6 Resource Recovery, ACT

2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
t
t
t

Paper
42 624
46 923
54 576
Glass
6 872
10 195
12 087
Plastic containers
1 395
1 373
1 427
Aluminium
418
811
1 323
Steel cans
753
775
867
Garden waste/compost
181 639
197 748
208 606
Demolition waste
232 507
241 956
221 836
Metals (ferrous)
17 689
20 464
28 461
Cooking oil & fat
725
850
1 803
Clothing
4 580
4 238
4 455
Motor Oil
3 014
1 747
2 017
Other
12 224
27 856
41 980
Total
504 440
554 936
579 438

ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services, Progress towards No Waste by 2010, How much is being reused and recycled?



Wastewater and sewage

Most of the wastewater and sewage generated in Canberra is treated at the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre (LMWQCC). The centre, which is the largest in inland Australia, typically processes between 80-100 million litres of wastewater every day. It currently serves a population of 310,000 persons. During Stage 3 Water Restrictions the LMWQCC also became a site where recycled water was made available on a restricted basis through arrangements with ACTEW.


The Fyshwick Sewage Treatment Plant partially treats some of the wastewater generated at Fyshwick and surrounding suburbs. After partial treatment, the wastewater is returned to the sewer for full treatment at the LMWQCC.


The LMWQCC is located on the Molonglo river, 1 km upstream from the junction with the Murrumbidgee River. After physical, chemical and biological treatment, the water is discharged into the Molonglo River.


Water quality in the river is extensively monitored and ecological monitoring such as the Fish Monitoring Program, plus counts of macroinvertebrates, provides information on the river's health. Platypus are often seen near where the treated water re-enters the Molonglo River.


Solid material removed from the sewage during treatment is incinerated at high temperatures. The 'agri-ash' which is created during this process is sold to farmers as a soil conditioner. Additionally, the LMWQCC uses treated effluent for irrigation for ovals and golf courses.


Between 2004-05 and 2005-06 the number of sewage customers increased by 2.2 percentage points from 130,355 to 133,217. Over the same period, the amount of sewage treated increased by 6.3 percentage points, from 27,293 ML to 29,019 ML. The amount of sewage treated per person per year increased by 5.4 percentage points, from 83.5 kL to 88 kL.

2.7 Selected Sewage Statistics, ACT

2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06

Customers no.
123 641
125 784
128 446
130 355
133 217
Quantity of sewage treated ML
30 645
28 313
27 959
27 293
29 019
Sewage treated per person per annum kL
97.6
89.2
86.6
83.5
88.0
Length of mains km
2 875
2 897
2 921
2 948
2 985

ACTEW Corporation Limited, 2005-06 Annual Report.


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