Blue Circle Southern Cement’s works at New Berrima has submitted an application to burn used tyres, recycled oil and carbon dust. The use of alternative fuels would cut the current 200,000t coal requirement from Medway Colliery by about 30 per cent. Works manager Ian Unsworth commented on the plans:”It will reduce the amount of waste going into landfill from other industries and improve resource management generally by conserving coal and other virgin materials…. It will also reduce our emission of greenhouse gases.” He went on to reassure, saying an ongoing AU$75m kiln upgrade and implementation of strict European operational standards would prevent smoke pollution.
The public exhibition of the application and the deadline for written submissions to the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources was due to finish on Friday, 6 February, but the Department agreed an extra week to lodge comments on the tyre burning plans. Local group Southern Highland Greens is objecting to the plans and making a submission to Infrastructure and Planning Minister Craig Knowles, stating the use of tyres, oil and carbon dust would result in a “huge load” of heavy metals, organo-chlorides, sulphur and nitrogen being released into the atmosphere. A public meeting is to be arranged at short notice, later this week.