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The smell coming from trains carrying Sydney's waste is sometimes so powerful that schoolchildren in a small town near Goulburn have to be kept in classrooms with the windows closed and the airconditioning on.
Pupils at Tarago Public School are copping the brunt of the odour from waste trains that park on a nearby siding at the town's railway station, sometimes for several hours.
Tarago and District Progress Association secretary Adrian Ellson, who wants waste trains stopped from parking within the town boundaries.
Photo: Karleen MinneyThe trains stop on the siding on their way to Veolia's Woodlawn Bioreactor, which uses rubbish to generate electricity.
School P and C secretary Megan Alcock said she and fellow parents were concerned about the impact on their children.
"Sometimes the smell [from the trains] is so bad that they won’t let the kids out of the classroom," she said.
"They’ve actually got to sit in the classroom with the windows and doors shut, and the airconditioning on.
"That, in itself, is unacceptable."
Ms Alcock also had concerns about the diesel fumes that wafted into the school, and said the P and C planned to start a petition calling for the trains to be parked only outside the town boundaries.
She said the trains upset her seven-year-old daughter, one of the 46 pupils at the school, who described the locomotives as dirty, smelly and ugly.
When The Canberra Times photographed one of the waste trains at Tarago Railway Station on September 14, some containers were visibly leaking and the smell was evident.
One of the containers on a waste train, which was visibly leaking when it stopped on the siding at Tarago Railway Station on Friday.
Photo: Karleen MinneyRubbish from Canberra could also add to the volumes being sent by rail to the bioreactor if Capital Recycling Solutions, which wants to open a waste transfer centre in Fyshwick, is given permission to put non-recyclable material on trains to Woodlawn.
The NSW government says it is addressing the issue and providing "significant community benefits" by allocating $7.7 million to extend the existing passing loop at Tarago under its "fixing country rail" program.
The government funding, announced in May, covers almost the entire cost of the $8.6 million extension.
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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