MacKellar Excavations has been approved to develop an innovative landfill site as extractive operations are progressively completed at its Mary’s Mount Quarry in New South Wales.
The Northern Regional Planning Panel decided that the proposal was a smart way to deal with waste and rehabilitation in one solution.
MacKellar Excavations general manager Tim MacKellar said he was glad to see so much effort in planning coming to fruition, as he explained the details of the proposal.
“The proposal that’s been approved is to repurpose the exhausted parts of the quarry as a landfill for general solid waste,” MacKellar told Quarry.
The waste will be non-putrescible and comprised predominantly of excavated materials, construction and demolition waste, and commercial and industrial waste. There will be no contaminated, restricted or toxic waste received at the landfill site.
“The end result was a unanimous decision from the Northern Regional Planning Panel,” MacKellar said.
“The Planning Panel saw it as an innovative use of a quarry void, with the net benefit being there will be no void at the completion of the landfill because the land will be restored to its original profile.”
The blue metal quarry usually has a licence to extract 360,000 tonnes per year (tpa) but has had a temporary license increase to 499,000 tpa, owing to potential work on the Inland Rail project.
Some confusion had arisen around the details of the proposal but MacKellar assured the community a landfill is the best case scenario if the quarry is to continue serving them well.
“The oversight and the compliance and regulatory requirements that go with these facilities is intense, as it should be,” MacKellar explained.
“But I think people have seen the local garbage tip here and they have visions of exactly the same sort of enterprise (at Mary’s Mount), and nothing could be further from the truth.”
He said communities love it when resources are recovered sustainably – until they are in the same postcode.
“Everyone always believes we should be doing more about waste and recycling – and there will be a process of resource recovery (at Mary’s Mount),” he said.
“Everyone agrees these facilities are needed, they just don’t want them near them.”
Mary’s Mount Quarry is expected to contribute about $8.6 million to road infrastructure over its lifetime, with almost $2.5 million spent already in intersection upgrades, tar sealing of nine kilometres of previous gravel road, and general road improvements.
MacKellar said the quarry has served the community well.
“There’s an ongoing contribution of a rate per tonne, plus the roadworks that the local community are now benefitting from would not have occurred without us,” he said.
“Up until our quarry commenced, all aggregates for the area came from outside of it because there was no other blue metal quarry around. The quarries supplying those aggregates and the companies transporting them did not contribute to the local roads as we do.”
Mary’s Mount Quarry employs eight full-time workers, eight truck drivers, plus numerous contractors servicing crushers, conveyors, a weighbridge, and a weather station.
MacKellar Excavations’ clients include Western Sydney Airport, Daracon, Boggabri and Whitehaven Coal, Gunnedah Shire Council and the Australian Rail Track Corporation, the manager of all major national rail networks and the facilitator of Inland Rail.
Daracon seeks approval for project five years in the making
Marnie Evans: Overseeing the logistics, complexity of Inland Rail