Cobar Shire Council has requested local mines make improvements to their waste management practices after potentially dangerous material was discovered at the Cobar Waste Facility last week.
Cobar Shire Council’s manager of planning and environment Stephen Poulter said a small quantity of packing materials linked to mine blasting was discovered at the tip last Wednesday morning.
“During normal waste sorting processes, our waste operator noticed large amounts of unsorted waste materials being deposited at our Cobar Waste Facility by a private waste contactor. I attended the site shortly after to view this waste which appeared to originate from mine sites,” Mr Poulter said.
He said they could not safely confirm if the packages contained any dangerous goods.
“A call was made to the waste management company responsible for depositing the waste materials to verify the origins of this waste.
Mr Poulter said local mines which used that company were also called.
“The specific waste area containing this material was closed off to the public and staff during this time.”
Mr Poulter said technical representatives of each of the mines attended the site shortly after and inspected the concerning waste material.
“It was confirmed that none of the waste was dangerous. The facility returned to normal operations following this advice,” he said.
“Following this incident, Council has contacted each of the mines that had used the waste management company and emphasised the need for better waste management practices, including depositing of hazardous material packaging. This has also been communicated to the waste management company.
Mr Poulter assured the community that all waste received at the Cobar Waste Facility is either manually or mechanically moved around the site by our staff.
“Where waste materials are considered to be of a hazardous nature, our staff will take appropriate action to safeguard themselves and the public,” he said.
“Signage is provided on site to indicate relevant areas that waste types should be deposited.