THE operators of a Killara compost plant hope the odour issues surrounding their business will soon be a thing of the past.
Greenchip recycling has been at the centre of complaints from residents, Wodonga Council and other businesses for close to a decade, but the company says new infrastructure at the site could provide a solution.
Greenchip managing director Terry Corrigan yesterday met the residents who had lodged those complaints, in an open house forum.
Hosted by the Environment Protection Authority at North East Water’s offices in Wodonga, it was an opportunity for Mr Corrigan and the EPA to discuss the progress being made and hear directly from residents.
The EPA slapped Greenchip with five notices to comply in the past year, leading Mr Corrigan to build a new dewatering set-up.
The tank farm, which will treat the compost inside and remove the moisture that leads to odours, is almost at the end of its commissioning phase.
“People should already be noticing a decrease in odour,” Mr Corrigan said.
“We’ve been wanting to achieve this for many years now and now we will see a significant increase in the management of odours.”
Greenchip has also lodged a planning permit with Wodonga Council to build another shed for processing compost to offset odours, and another EPA works approval application to process existing compost loads.
EPA North East manager Clare Kiely said inspectors were visiting the plant weekly to examine the new operation, but still relied heavily on the feedback from residents.
“The problem is not totally fixed but we’ll continue to work with Mr Corrigan on it,” she said.
Ms Kiely said odour reports had dropped late last year, but spiked again in February and March this year.
“We take them seriously and they are fully investigated to determine where they are coming from, so it is vital we keep getting feedback,” she said.
Residents who attended yesterday’s forum declined to speak to The Border Mail.