The Greater Blue Mountains Area (GBMA) is a deeply incised sandstone tableland that encompasses 1.03 million hectares of eucalypt-dominated landscape just inland from Sydney, Australia’s largest city, in south-eastern Australia. Spread across eight adjacent conservation reserves, it constitutes one of the largest and most intact tracts of protected bushland in Australia. It also supports an exceptional representation of the taxonomic, physiognomic and ecological diversity that eucalypts have developed: an outstanding illustration of the evolution of plant life. A number of rare and endemic taxa, including relict flora such as the Wollemi pine, also occur here.

Blue Mountains, aerial view, Pollution threatening UNESCO World heritage sites - WOIMA Corporation

The geology and geomorphology of the property, which includes 300-meter cliffs, slot canyons and waterfalls, provides the physical conditions and visual backdrop to support these outstanding biological values. The property includes large areas of accessible wilderness in close proximity to 4.5 million people. Its exceptional biodiversity values are complemented by numerous others, including indigenous and post-European-settlement cultural values, geodiversity, water production, wilderness, recreation and natural beauty.

In 2015 coal waste and water spilled from the Clarence Colliery mine near Lithgow into the Wollangambe River which flows into the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. The reason was believed to be the collapse of a coal waste dump, and coal material had affected at least 150 meters of the river. The coal waste is slowly making its way towards the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, which is only some two kilometers downstream from the mine. It may affect the local flora and fauna for several decades.

Vollangambe river, coal waste and water, Pollution threatening UNESCO World heritage sites - WOIMA Corporation

Eventually, the spill cost Clarance Colliery over $3,000,000 with $1,050,000 in fines and over $2,000,000 in clean-up costs. The incident took 51 weeks to clean up. In total 14,857 hours was spent by 20 rotating team members that averaged nine hours per day. Over 600 helicopter trips were undertaken to remove the 214 tons of coal material from the River. Approximately 10.3 km of the Wollangambe River was impacted by coal fines and cleaned, the first 5.35 km of the river was required to be cleaned twice.

The wasteWOIMA® waste-to-energy power plant offers an alternative power generation solution to using fossil fuels. It simultaneously ensures that waste is recycled into energy efficiently, supports the local waste management practices and promotes climate action by preventing solid waste from generating methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times worse than CO2.

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Contact WOIMA, if you see yourself as collaboration partner in saving the planet. Ask more about turning waste into wellbeing with WOIMA Circular Economy Solutions.

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