Maitland may be the fastest growing inland regional city but it can't deal with its own waste.
The city is at the mercy of other councils to take care of its rubbish.
The city's only tip - Mount Vincent Waste Disposal Centre, has limited capacity and there is no room to build another landfill site in the Maitland Local Government Area.
"There is no land that has the right conditions to construct the landfill," Maitland Council's waste services coordinator Elfi Blackburn said.
The land that has not been built on is often impacted by flooding, all of the industrial land that we have is pretty much built out and the rest is either residential land or is already full.
Garbage trucks are carting Maitland's waste all the way to Newcastle council's Summerhill Waste Management Centre in Wallsend.
That is the maximum distance each truck can travel from the LGA to dispose of the rubbish, Ms Blackburn said.
Using that facility cost the council $2.9 million in 2017-18 and $3.1 million in 2018-19 in waste levies.
The council will have to call for new tenders this financial year. Last time it put out the call Newcastle council was the only entity that applied.
"We may have to look at other options like Cessnock or the Central Coast or maybe into the future there will be alternate treatments where we don't have to take it to landfill at all and everything gets recycled," she said.
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Ms Blackburn said enhancing recycling efforts was the key to sending less items to landfill.
Maitland council has plans to build a waste transfer station at the Mount Vincent site, which would allow it to separate more recyclable materials and connect them with suitable businesses.
A development application has been submitted to the Joint Regional Planning Panel, which will determine if it will proceed.
If the project is given the green light by the end of September a contractor could be appointed as early as the end of the year.
If that happened the facility could be operational by December 2020.
"There will be very sophisticated sorting that will take place - something that we can't currently do because we don't have the technology at the moment," Ms Blackburn said.
"A lot more things can then be recycled and things can come online in the future.
"The more we recycle the fewer materials have to go into landfill."
The waste transfer station would also give the city more control over its rubbish.
Ms Blackburn said if garbage trucks were required to travel even further than Wallsend in the future the waste transfer station would provide the opportunity to transport landfill in bulk.
"By building the transfer facility at Mount Vincent that will give us a lot more flexibility to do that in the future," she said.
"For us the recycling is one component, the other issue is that the transfer station will guarantee that we have a base and a recycling facility."
The Mount Vincent site is being used as a community drop-off point so residents can discard landfill and offload recycling without having to travel outside the LGA.
"We have limited landfill capacity and we want to conserve that capacity so we preserve that facility for a long time into the future," she said.