ACT News

Abandoned rubbish mountain to cover contaminated Mr Fluffy waste

An abandoned rubbish mountain left by a failed waste management company will be used to cover contaminated material from demolished Mr Fluffy homes in West Belconnen.

The financial collapse of Skippy Bins, a waste collection and processing business, forced it to desert a huge pile of rubbish at its disused depot near the NSW border last month.

It was feared the mess would cost taxpayers $5.89 million, but the ACT was holding out hope that the company could find a way to stay afloat.

Skippy Bins, however, failed to find a way out from under the weight of crippling debts, and was put into the hands of liquidators at Hall Chadwick after court action was started by the Australian Tax Office last week.

Now, in a move expected to save itself millions, the ACT Government says it is planning to use Skippy Bins' abandoned rubbish to cover asbestos waste from demolished Mr Fluffy homes.

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Up to 150,000 tonnes of contaminated material from more than 1000 Mr Fluffy homes is to be sent to the West Belconnen Resource Management Centre within the next five years.

Skippy Bins' rubbish mountain sits just up the road from the planned asbestos dump.

The ACT Property Group, which has seized Skippy's depot, said it was confident that most of the leftover rubbish could be used as cover for the Mr Fluffy material. 

That it is expected to significantly reduce the clean-up bill for the Skippy Bins site, and ACT Property Group director Daniel Bailey expects the cost now to be $1million for handling and transport costs.

Mr Bailey acknowledged that Skippy Bins' collapse into liquidation significantly reduced the chance of recovering money from the company. 

But he said the ACT would attempt to recover $1 million from the liquidators for transporting and handling the waste.

The decision to use Skippy's waste as cover for the asbestos material was made after a meeting between ACT NOWaste, the Environment Protection Authority, WorkSafe ACT, and the ACT Property Group. 

Skippy Bins owed $619,000 to the tax office and was struggling with cash flow problems when it went into voluntary administration recently.

The company was confident it could find a way to stay afloat.

But the Tax Office started court action last week, putting the remains of the company in the hands of liquidators Steven Gladman and David Ingram. It has a long list of general creditors.

Roughly eight people are thought to have lost their jobs as a result of the company's collapse. 

The dumping of asbestos waste is expected to begin after the first Mr Fluffy homes are bought and demolished in early 2015.

There is some concern that the West Belconnen Resource Management Centre may not have the capacity to hold waste from the more than 1000 Mr Fluffy homes.

The Mr Fluffy waste is expected to be buried with at least 30 centimetres of soil on the same day it is deposited, and then covered with a delivery of demolition material, and then capped with another three metres of soil.

With Henry Belot

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