Council waste manager targeted amid 'cover up' claims
COUNCILLOR Paul Tully has accused the Ipswich City Council of covering up the amount of waste it has sent to landfill.
In a bombshell statement at the council's ordinary meeting yesterday, Cr Tully described the April decision to scrap recycling as a "clear cover-up and concealment" and demanded the chief executive officer review the position of the council's waste services manager.
Last month Cr Tully asked acting chief executive officer Gary Kellar to investigate and respond to a whistleblower's claim the city's recycling has been dumped in landfill for three months, rather than the claimed four weeks.
A response to Cr Tully by Mr Kellar revealed 50 per cent of recyclate was contaminated in January and loads were regularly sent to landfill.
"The last load delivered to the preferred contractor that met acceptable contamination rates was delivered on March 2, 2018," Mr Kellar said.
"Due to a machinery breakdown limiting sorting ability and ongoing high contamination rates no further sorted loads were able to be sent from this date.
"Council's legal advice received on March 16, 2018, was not to send any further loads until the contract was signed.
"Hence the effective date from which all recyclable material -contaminated or not - was directed to landfill was, March 16, 2018."
It was revealed the waste manager "authorised the diversion of all recyclable material to landfill as from March 16".
Mr Kellar also revealed the office of Mayor Andrew Antoniolli was made aware of the problems with the recycling contract on March 23 and "that being unable to send even uncontaminated recyclate to a suitable facility, the diversion to landfill was in place".
Councillors were made aware of the decision to cancel recycling on April 16.
Mr Kellar said the diversion of contaminated recyclate to the landfill "has been a normal operational activity over the life" of waste contracts.