Car firm, council in landfill dispute

As far as neighbourhood disputes go, this one is bigger than most.

Car-handling company Patrick Autocare has raised a catalogue of concerns over Wollongong City Council's bid to expand its Whytes Gully landfill on the neighbouring property.

The concerns ranged from possible flood risks and an increase in odour and dust in the air through to bird poo damaging vehicle paint and requiring more frequent washing.

Space at the landfill will run out in late 2013 and the council has applied to extend the site's capacity by 6 million cubic metres - enough for about 40 years.

It would involve creating new landfill space next to and on top of existing waste cells.

"Given that landfill capacity is projected to expire in late 2013 the 'do nothing' alternative is not a feasible option," the council's lengthy environmental assessment said.

The Whytes Gully resource recovery park is next door to Patrick Autocare's major car storage and processing properties, part of its stevedoring operations from Port Kembla.

Parent company Asciano said "appropriate mitigation measures" had to be developed to protect its operations and employees.

"Patrick Autocare will be storing new imported vehicles within 250m of the proposed expansion cells," its submission said.

"We require surety that the proposed expansion does not increase the amount of dust/dirt in the air that may settle on the vehicles in storage and affect the health and safety of our staff."

It also called for assurances that a creek flowing into its property from the landfill site would not fill with sediment over time, and questioned if the expansion would attract more wildlife.

The council's environmental assessment said the project was a "vital component" in its waste- management strategy.

Without it, the council would soon have nowhere to accept household waste.

The Environment Protection Authority recommended that the council's conditions of approval include an air quality management plan and a traffic noise management strategy.

It also recommended licence conditions to manage odour, dust and noise.

Roads & Maritime Services said it did not object as long as traffic signals were installed at the intersection of the Princes Highway and West Dapto Road.

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