Community concerns about Midfield Meat’s proposal to relocate its rendering plant from the environmentally- sensitive Levy’s Point Coastal Reserve to the Midfield abattoir site will be aired at a Warrnambool public meeting on Wednesday night.
Merrivale Community Association chair Keith McAlley said it was concerned that truck traffic to and from the proposed site of the new rendering plant at the Scott Street site abattoir would deteriorate local roads.
Mr McAlley said local roads were not built to handle B-doubles that he expected would take animal products to and from the proposed new rendering plant.
He said the association was also concerned the new rendering plant would be only 300 metres away from the nearest residence and about 450 metres from Merrivale Primary School.
Other concerns were about potential odour from a “bio-filter” proposed for the new plant, he said.
Midfield Meat’s project manager for the proposed new plant, Kevin Banner, said it would reduce truck movements by more than 100 a week from the current number going to the Levy’s Point plant.
Mr Banner said the proposed bio-filter involved putting odours from the new plant through a bark medium. Micro-organisms on the bark would neutralise the odours as they passed through the bark.
“It’s a proven technique,” he said.
He said the proposed new facility would be enclosed which would reduce the impact of lighting and truck noise.
The plant’s operating hours will normally be linked to those of the abattoir but it will have the capacity to operate 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
The Environment Protection Authority has called the public meeting to gain a better understanding of the community concerns that it will consider in its decision on Midfield’s application for an EPA works approval.
The EPA said people could still register for the November 7 meeting on 1300 372 842. The meeting will be held at the Warrnambool Golf Club from 6pm-8.30pm.
The EPA said Midfield was seeking to build a new rendering plant because its existing rendering plant at the Levy’s Point Coastal Reserve needed a significant upgrade of its onsite wastewater treatment plant and connection to trade waste.