Hume Resource Recovery Facility

Canberra landscape graphic Canberra landscape graphic
Who are Flexible About the project Community inputs FAQS

Flexible Australia is a well-established Canberra company which provides specialist asset maintenance services to support and maintain the stormwater network and sewer systems in Canberra and surrounding region. Flexible also currently provide a ‘hydro-excavation’ service, a non-destructive alternative to mechanical excavation which vacuums both solid and semi-solid materials.

The company has a strong focus and commitment to quality assurance, environmental management, work health and safety and risk management. The company has sought and holds appropriate certification of its systems for a number of standards including ISO 14001 Environmental management systems.

About the project

Background to the project

Each year thousands of tonnes of sediment gets trapped in stormwater drain networks or swept up by trucks around urban areas in the ACT. Currently these materials are treated as ‘waste’ which is why the material goes to landfill. Flexible Australia have identified that a lot of these materials are ‘valuable resources’ which can be recovered and re-used within the building and construction industries or used to maintain our roads. The ACT Government have determined four key outcomes for waste:

Flexible have also identified a range of waste sources which they can be recovered for reuse. These are:

Project Aim

Flexible Australia proposes to establish a resource recovery facility at 36 Couranga Crescent. The purpose of the project is to provide a resource recovery facility that will process the above waste streams, so that valuable materials can be re-used and recycled, and less waste ends up in our landfills. The recovered products will be used as soil conditioning agents, subbase material, sand and aggregates.

Flexible Australia have searched extensively for a suitable site to expand their activities and consider that Block 11 Section 21 Hume (36 Couranga Crescent) can accommodate the needs of their business. Given that the site is undeveloped, they also see this as an opportunity to construct best practice infrastructure within an already zoned industrial area – the Hume Industrial Estate. This area is zoned for a large range of activities including recycling and resource recovery.

The intention is to develop Block 11 in two stages – the first will be to construct a bunded building (retained concrete slabs which surround the resource recovery plant to prevent residues from escaping) at the rear of the block, for processing of waste residues and the second stage at the front portion of the block, will be to build an administration building and truck depot.

View the infographic

Community Input

To help ensure the surrounding community is involved in the development process, the project team is undertaking a program of consultation to engage with neighbouring organisations, residents, and key stakeholders to help you to understand how the resource recovery facility will operate and why Flexible see this project as a great opportunity for helping the ACT work towards its vision for reducing waste to landfill and achieve full resource recovery.

The feedback gained from this process will inform how Flexible undertake their project design before they submit a draft Environment Impact Statement (EIS) and Development Application (DA) to the Environmental Protection of Sustainable Development (EPSDD). Initial comments and questions can be submitted by email

To enable sufficient time for responses, comments can be received prior to 20 December 2019.

Following this, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Development Application (DA) will be submitted to the Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) and placed on public notification to enable the community to make further representations prior to submitting a final EIS.


To assist the ACT Government and our community achieve its goals for waste management – i.e. becoming carbon neutral by reducing waste that goes to landfill and recovering as much resources as possible.

All vehicles will be inspected prior to the treatment process. This will control what is received and will assess whether the materials can be reused.

As well as waste inspections, all waste receivals will be subject to a decision-making process called Beneficial Use Determination (BUD). The BUD process will ensure that EPA and the resource recovery plant’s authorisation is compliant and fit of purpose residues are recovered from the waste streams. This will ensure that waste residues will come from normal activities of known sources . For example, waste from accidents and contaminated soil will not be accepted at the facility.

  • There will be no discharge of processing liquid from the site other than sewer from staff amenities.
  • The stormwater onsite will be captured, treated and reused within the operation of the facility and for the irrigation of landscaping Water treatment process will allow water to be recycled and re-used in the process.
  • Water will be used to dampen finished product stockpiles to reduce any dust which may be produced.

Check out the infographic to see how Flexible will process the different sources of waste.

The processing plant will be contained within a bunded (concrete sealed) building and no waste will be stored outside this building. Only final products will be stockpiled in bunded bays for a short period of time – however these waste types are unlikely to generate odour. Incoming waste streams will be not be allowed to accumulate on site and will be processed as received. Any material that is not fit for reuse will be disposed of in a landfill. All landfill waste will be correctly stored in contained areas and will be taken to landfill after the treatment process.

The plant does not require a chimney stack and therefore no smoke will be produced.

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently being prepared to support a development application (DA) to be submitted to the Planning and Land Authority within the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate. The EIS will address the form and content requirements of the Planning and Land Authority. This includes specific technical assessments on the following key issues:

  • Traffic and Transport Impacts
  • Climate Change and Air Quality Impacts
  • Health Impact
  • Noise and Vibration Impacts
  • Bushfire Impacts
  • Landscape & Lighting
  • Hydrology, soils
  • Bird strike

The processing plant will be capable of processing wet and dry materials. The infrastructure to support this proposed development consists of a fully enclosed steel frame building which will house the mechanical separation processing plant. The plant consists of standard low technology equipment such as, pumps/ pipework, trommels, screw feeders, centrifuge, conveyors and water treatment tanks. Associated infrastructure includes a weigh bridge, finished product storage bays and a stormwater collection and treatment reuse system.

The resource recovery process is based on a washing process to remove contaminants/fines from the surface of materials and the chemicals that are used in the process will bind onto the contaminants/fines to produce a ‘sludge cake’. This sludge cake is what will go straight to landfill.

  • Air emissions – all activity will be contained within a building and recovered products directly from the process will be stockpiled outside under a covered area. The impacts of dust will be contained by optimising the moisture content of recovered material, and the bunded building has been orientated to be protected from the prevailing winds in hot dry and windy periods.
  • Land contamination – the plant will be bunded / hard stand concrete surfaces. The outside of the plant will also be concreted and sealed to prevent any residues from impacting on the land and groundwater. Noise – The processing plant is totally enclosed and the Facility would comply with all requirements of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2005 in relation to noise, and thus would not be expected to result in adverse noise effects at any and all nearby receptors.
  • Surface and groundwater – The site and building will be enclosed and sealed with concrete. All water from within the building will be directed to a storage tank and treated for re-use. All stormwater will be directed to drains which are connected to stormwater tanks which store water to be re-used within the facility. Traffic – Given the subject site is located within an industrial area, it is anticipated that construction and operational traffic will not significantly impact the safety and efficiency of the surrounding road network.
  • Ecology – the proposed site is within the Hume Industrial Estate which is not considered a sensitive area and site itself has been completely cleared of vegetation. All water will be stored and re-used on site which means that there is no ability for water to affect the Jerrabomberra catchment. If the stormwater tanks reach capacity, there is the ability for overflow water to be released through the sewer network, in accordance with government standards.