RICHMOND Valley Council has been working closely with bushfire-affected communities and government agencies to provide recovery support in the wake of the Busbys Flat Road bushfire, which burned more than 48,000ha, destroyed 42 homes and 95 dwellings, and damaged a further 57 structures.
Several facilities were also destroyed, including the Rappville Community Hall, Tarmac sawmill, Telstra exchange, Tea Tree distillery, and railway control unit shed.
The bushfire has generated serious waste management challenges, including extensive asbestos contamination in destroyed and damaged buildings.
To protect public health and safety, NSW Public Works has assessed 96 structures affected by the fire for asbestos, and has notified owners of results. Anyone urgently wanting to know the status of their home can call the Public Works hotline on 1800 885 539.
From Monday, 11 November, eligible fire-affected residents will be contacted by a Council officer to arrange access to the temporary transfer station next to the Rappville Showground. To be eligible, property owners must be uninsured and not be in receipt of Disaster Welfare payments, and waste must not be contaminated.
Council staff will commence visiting these uninsured, uncontaminated properties from Monday to ensure the waste identified for disposal can be accepted. Property owners will be given a booking reference number, which must be shown before entering the temporary transfer station.
No asbestos contaminated material will be accepted.
The Rappville Transfer Station on Carwong Road has re-opened for business as usual Sundays 9.30am to 12.30pm. Fees and charges apply. This resumed service is for the normal household generated waste and mixed recycling only, as detailed below.
This is not a service for fire-damaged property debris or part of the fire recovery service.
General household waste such as:
- All soft plastics
- Disposable nappies
- Wipes and other non-recyclable household
Mixed recycling such as:
- Paper and cardboard
- Milk and juice cartons
- Magazines, newspaper and books
- Glass bottles and jars
- Aerosol cans (empty)
- Aluminium cans
- Steel cans/food tins (empty)
- Hard plastic bottles like shampoo, milk and juice bottles
- Plastic takeaway food containers
- Yoghurt containers
All owners of insured properties should contact their insurance providers and arrange for the assessment and removal of asbestos and general waste.
If you are uninsured, and your home has tested positive for asbestos, Public Works is available to manage the clean-up of your home – call the hotline on 1800 885 539 for assistance.
If you are uninsured with low income and do not have asbestos you may be eligible for support with cleaning up and removal of waste materials through disaster relief grants. Please contact Disaster Welfare on 1800 018 444.
Damaged asbestos can only be removed by appropriately licensed asbestos contractors.
Council is having ongoing discussions with the Office of Emergency Management and other agencies about any further support available for those with uninsured properties.