8 December 2020
A new landfill cell at the Central Waste Facility near Bega will be operational by Christmas, prompting Bega Valley Shire Council to ask for renewed thinking on the way we deal with waste.
The new cell is the fourth to be built at the site and the largest one yet with a projected life of up to eight years.
Council’s Waste Services Manager, Alan Gundrill said the new cell is a major achievement built under challenging circumstances but is also a sobering reminder to reduce waste to landfill.
“While Cell 4 is our largest yet, we must remember that consumer activity and the summer bushfires have led to Cell 3 filling much faster than expected,” Mr Gundrill said.
“The massive amount of waste from cleared sites following the summer bushfires compounded an already growing problem of salvageable waste, food waste and recyclables finding their way to landfill.
“As a result, the construction of Cell 4 was fast-tracked to cope with increasing demand for landfill space.
“Our contractors were faced with excavating more than 75,000 cubic metres of material and working through three east coast lows while they blasted through rock outcrops and carefully installed the leachate barrier lining.
“This highly specialised task, vital for the safe containment and redirection of leachate, was installed in six weeks while meeting the NSW Government’s strict quality assurance requirements.
“Contractors are currently laying a gravel substrate as the final step before opening Cell 4 to landfill waste prior to Christmas,” Mr Gundrill said.
Council’s Waste Strategy Coordinator, Joley Vidau said the community should consider the latest cell as a last resort.
“Landfill is not a place for recyclables, organic waste or goods that can be repurposed as commodities.
“Put simply, we cannot as a community and society, keep digging holes for goods we incorrectly label as waste. We are literally running out of allowable space.
“This is why we have developed our proposed Waste Facility Consolidation and Modernisation Project, with an extensive and successful public awareness campaign having run throughout October this year.
“Looking ahead, with a new landfill cell ready for waste that can go nowhere else, and a project that makes it much easier for people to recycle, we can genuinely change the way everyone thinks about their waste.
“With a shift in thinking comes a change of behaviour, and with this comes significant financial and environmental gains,” Ms Vidau said.
Visit the Waste Facility Consolidation and Modernisation Project webpage for more detail.