The Orange Waste Project
Orange City Council developed a project to improve waste management for the next 40 years. The proposal, which began to be developed in the early 2000s, aimed to be a model for sustainable regional waste management. At the time there was increasing concern across NSW about the way Australians manage waste with not enough recycling, and heavy reliance on burying materials in landfill. Aside from wasting potential resources, the impact on the environment has emerged as a serious concern.
The need for action was highlighted by the limited life of the landfill at the Ophir Road Resource Recovery Centre (ORRRC). Orange City Council recognised the need to plan well ahead for the introduction of new waste processing technologies and extra landfill capacity to achieve sustainable long term outcomes.
Following the decision of the Land and Environment Court in relation to the previous ‘Hub Waste Management Proposal’, the City Council commissioned an independent review of the Hub proposal and the Council’s draft Solid Waste and Resource Management Policy. The Council then developed a new sustainable waste management and resource recovery strategy : The Orange Waste Project.
The Environmental Assessment (EA) for ‘The Orange Waste Project’ was approved by the Minister for Planning on 29 April 2010. Council began construction on the Orange Waste Project’s facilities in 2012. On 5 August 2013, Orange City Council began to use these facilities.
‘Inspiring & Integrating Change’ Project
The lessons learnt as three central west councils (Orange,Bathurst & Dubbo) tackled sustainability challenges have been condensed into a Toolkit booklet.
Published in November 2012, the booklet is aimed at sharing the knowledge and experience gained from the Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo (BOD) Alliance’s Inspiring and Integrating Change Project and to encourage fellow councils to establish similar sustainability projects.
You can download the Local Government Toolkit here (7.3 MB)
The Toolkit provides an overview of three specific ‘on-ground’ sustainability projects:
- Dubbo City Council’s Victoria Park Precinct Renewable Energy Project,
- Orange City Council’s urban constructed wetland for stormwater harvesting and
- Bathurst Regional Council’s Biodiversity Management Plan & Urban Drainage Reserve Vegetation Link.
It also provides useful tips on how to gain assistance to begin new projects.
Information is also provided about the BOD Alliance Councils’ joint Greenhouse Gas Inventory and the development of an innovative regional Distributed Energy Plan.
Through a variety of practical, on-ground projects, Inspiring and Integrating Change aims to motivate and inform other regional councils, organisations and individuals to create projects and implement policies which support sustainable development into the future.
This program has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.
Some highlights of the I & I C Project include:
- Dubbo became the solar capital of Australia as a result of having the highest percentage of households installing small scale solar, which currently stand at 3,482 total installations
- Bathurst and Orange community solar installations exceed the NSW average, by 532 and 440 respectively (2012)
- Dubbo installed a 70kW solar system on the roof of the Western Plains Cultural Centre which at the time was one of the largest in the state., saving 88 tonnes of CO2 a year.
- Bathurst was the first Central West Council to develop a Biodiversity Management Plan which extends across the whole local government area (3,820 km2) and will achieve ongoing benefits beyond the life of the I&IC Project
- Bathurst planted 24,000 native seedlings in their five Urban Drainage Vegetation Link projects, helping to establish 1,000,000m2 of vegetation corridors
- Orange became the first city to install stormwater harvesting in Australia via the Ploughmans Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme. I&IC Project funding supported the construction of the Somerset Park Wetlands, which is connected to the scheme and will capture water and improve the quality of harvested stormwater
- Over 90,000 people (75% of the total BOD Alliance population) are estimated to have been reached by the project communication and disseminations strategies
- New sustainable practices have been implemented across the three councils and new positions, such as Wetland Team Leader in Orange City Council, have been created to support I & I C achievements beyond the life of the project.
Statutory approvals and documents
This page provides access to the official documents, licenses and plans which enable and regulate the project. The page also contains information about how to make a complaint about any aspect of the waste facilities, and a annually-compiled register of any complaints.
The Environmental Assessments (EA) and approval documentation for the project is available to the community. A copy of these EA approvals can be downloaded from the Department of Planning’s website.
The project’s two main facilities, the Ophir Road Resource Recovery Centre (ORRRC) and the Euchareena Road Resource Recovery Centre (ERRRC) are both licenced as waste facilities by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Details of the ORRRC Environment Protection Licence (Licence Number 5956) and the ERRRC Environment Protection Licence (Licence Number 20104), can be found on this page.
Orange Waste Project Complaints Register
Complaints about any aspect of the Orange Waste Project can be lodged by telephone 24 hours a day on 1300 650 511.
This annually-updated register contains details of all complaints received from the community since 2014.
In accord with the project approval, Orange City Council has developed an Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) for the Orange Waste Project. The OEMP contains all current approvals, plans and procedures for the waste facilities. The OEMP can be downloaded from these links :
Project Monitoring Results
In accord with the project approval, Orange City Council undertakes regular environmental monitoring of its waste facilities.
- Map of EPA Monitoring Stations – Ophir Road Resource Recovery Centre
- Map of EPA Monitoring Points - Euchareena Resource Recovery Centre
To view the most recent monitoring results follow this link and they can be found under the “Resource Recovery Centres” heading
Conservation Agreement – Flora and Aboriginal Heritage Monitoring
As part of conservation agreements, elements of Aboriginal heritage and plants on the Euchareena Road site are monitored and reports are produced. Reports can be found here.
In accord with the project approval, the annual reviews for the Ophir Road Resource Recovery Centre and the Euchareena Road Resource Recovery Centre can be downloaded from the following links:
Independent Environmental Audit
In accord with the project approval, Orange City Council commissioned an independent environmental audit of the Orange Waste Project in August 2014. A copy of the Audit Report and Council’s response can be downloaded from the following links:
Supporting Evidence (zip file)