Containing Bega Valley Shire’s future waste

THE Central Waste Facility could potentially provide 30 years of service for Bega Valley Shire residents.

The first of six landfill cells is being constructed at the Wanatta Lane site.

The BDN visited the CWF on Wednesday, with the focal point of the trip being the inaugural cell.

The facility was a hive of activity as heavy-duty trucks continued to roll through.

Each landfill cell could potentially have a five-year existence, depending on a number of factors.

Project engineer David Buckley said the CWF could last three decades, but would be affected by population growth and volumes of waste.

Mr Buckley urged all residents to have “more diligent” waste disposal habits, such as placing the right items in respective bins.

Other good habits include composting and worming, Mr Buckley said.

“The more we pull out recyclables, the less that goes into the hole, and the longer it [landfill cell] lasts,” he said.

Protecting the environment is essential for Mr Buckley and his team.

Each landfill cell’s base will be lined with geosynthetic clay, geomembrane, geotextile protection and river-grounded rocks.

A second geotextile layer will be on top of the lining, held in place by sand bags.

The geomembrane and geotextile layers have been welded together, passing a strict airtight and watertight pressure test.

The landfill’s sidewall barrier system is similar, but without the river-grounded rocks.

While the cell has been cut to 40,000 cubic metres, it will be able to hold 52,000 cubic metres of waste.

Mr Buckley described it as being like a “lasagne of waste”.

According to Mr Buckley, the lining of the cell was about 20 per cent completed, well on track for the CWF’s grand opening in December.

He said the CWF needed to be operational to prepare for the influx of tourists during the Christmas period.

The cell has been compared to the Merimbula tip, but more environmentally conscious.

Mr Buckley assured that all local tips, including the Bermagui, Merimbula and Eden sites, would remain operational.

While the CWF will cover the Bega Valley Shire, each tip will become a transfer station for the new facility.

“It’s a far better tip from an environmental point of view and from a management point of view,” Mr Buckley said.

The landfill cell is supported by three leachate storage ponds.

Leachate is any liquid that extracts solutes, suspended solids or any other materials passing through matter.

The three ponds are connected by a treatment plant, which will cater to each leachate.

The ponds and landfill cell will be joined together by a leachate conveyance pipe.

Mr Buckley said the cell and the leachate ponds were designed to contain waste, preventing it from affecting the environment.

Council tours landfill cell

THE BDN was joined on Wednesday’s tour by representatives of the Bega Valley Shire Council.

Among those attending were the council’s waste services manager Toby Browne, Mayor Bill Taylor and councillors Tony Allen, Michael Britten, Sharon Tapscott, Ann Mawhinney and Liz Seckold.

Absent were Deputy Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick and councillors Keith Hughes and Kristy McBain.

Project engineer David Buckley took the group on an inspection of the Central Waste Facility’s first landfill cell and three leachate ponds.

Mr Buckley fielded questions from attendees and gave samples of the materials that will line the cell, including geosynthetic clay and river-grounded rocks.

Cr Taylor said he was impressed by the steps being taken to ensure the environment remains protected.

He said the CWF project was progressing “impressively well”, adding there were huge changes since the council previously toured.

Cr Taylor said he was impressed by the extract work and techniques involved to “ensure the environment is protected from leachate and other materials”.

Cr Allen said the CWF was the “future” for the Bega Valley.

“It’s one of the most modern waste facilities in Australia,” he said.

Key projects in pipeline

THE Central Waste Facility project may be nearing completion, but there are still some key constructions to be made.

The following future works are still in the pipeline:

* Construction of an office/amenities building.

* Equipment/storage shed.

* A weighbridge (on Wanatta Lane entrance).

* Wheel-wash (for all heavy duty vehicles).

* Hydraulic service.

* Mobile litter containment enclosure (for first landfill cell).

* Additional three-metre high fencing around facility.

* Site remediation/landscaping.

These elements of the project will be completed by November for the CWF to be operational in December.

The CWF’s power supply has been deliberately delayed, depending on the outcome of the neighbouring NBN Co’s satellite earth station development.

The CWF is likely to source power from the station.

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