The fire at the waste facility in Lismore is still sending smoke towards the CBD.
The fire at the waste facility in Lismore is still sending smoke towards the CBD. Marc Stapelberg

Mayor 'hopeful' Lismore waste centre will re-open soon

CRISIS can bring out the best and worst in people. So after the fire at the Wyrallah road waste facility last weekend, I am extremely proud of the way our city comes together, in support of each other.

The extreme winds caused havoc last weekend across the region and its impact on the waste facility is not one we could have foreseen. The fire spread quickly though the whole waste centre, pushed by the strong winds. Fortunately the staff acted quickly to alert emergency services and step in to contain the fire where possible.

Staff also thought of impacts on residents and made sure that breathing equipment was made available, free of charge to all on Sunday, while there was some plastic still burning. It was a crisis and they acted decisively and with the community in mind.

It is also great to see council's disaster management strategies kick into action. All our surrounding councils were on board right away with what needed to happen next and despite the waste facility being shut down, bins were and are still being collected, sorted and transported. There was a small delay in a few streets, which considering the emergency, was again an amazing effort by council staff to keep it business as usual.

I want to say a special thank you to the police, ambulance, fire and rescue, and rural fire service crews who contained the situation. Despite the difficult conditions, the plastics and other critical areas were extinguished quickly saving a lot of time and resources for all involved.

These emergency crews launch into every event with a confidence that comes from experience and training. Their calm attitude in these difficult moments gives us all peace of mind. Lismore is well served by these hard working women and men.

Thank you to all residents for their support and understanding during this fire. Your waste is still being collected and disposed of in the way our community expects. Even in a crisis we maintain our values and commitment to sustainability. Keep an eye out for more information about the waste centre hopefully reopening in the near future.