Landfill leachate is water that extracts soluble and suspended solids, or any other residue as it passes through waste accumulated in a landfill cell.
We currently capture leachate in specially formed dams onsite at the Central Waste Facility. However, severe rain events put enormous pressure on our leachate storage capacity, and increases the risk for overflows.
Our current solution is to reduce dam levels by pumping leachate back to the landfill cell during dry weather to utilise evaporation. If this is not possible, we truck leachate to the Merimbula Sewage Treatment Plant for processing into treated effluent.
Neither option offers long-term solutions to protect the local environment from further leachate spills, so we have engaged a specialist contractor to help us in this early stage of scoping a possible leachate treatment plant development at the Central Waste Facility.
The contractor will deliver a leachate report, safety report, options analysis, reference design documentation, and a cost estimate.
Upon delivery, Councillors will determine the feasibility of the project and resolve whether to proceed or seek an alternative method.
The funding for this project will be provided by Bega Valley Shire Council. All rateable assessments in the Bega Valley Shire pay a Waste Management Charge to cover the cost of waste management services including: operation and maintenance of transfer stations and landfills, delivery of waste minimisation programs, and rehabilitation of legacy landfill sites.
Council’s Waste Strategy Recycling our Future focusses on various waste management strategies aimed at diverting waste from landfill through waste minimisation and resource recovery. In February 2021, Council made a commitment to achieving the initiatives of the strategy, by resolving to upgrade existing waste transfer stations and invest in resource recovery and waste processing infrastructure.
Aside from site upgrades, a 30-year financial model for waste services also identifies the cost for remediation of more than 20 legacy landfill sites, and an expansion of the existing kerbside collection service to rural landholdings. Increases to waste charges are a reflection of our community’s ambition to provide a sustainable future for waste services.
This project is connected to numerous outcomes in Council’s Community Strategic Plan. These include: Sustainable long-term service delivery, innovative approach to waste management, minimise waste to landfill, increase recycling and resource recovery, environmental protection, minimise public place litter.
Waste Project Manager
Bega Valley Shire Council