Environmentally sustainable Waste management for the Armidale Regional Council local government area has been secured for the next fifty years, with the new Waterfall Way regional landfill opening today.
Armidale Regional Council’s Director of Businesses and Services Scot MacDonald said it’s a crucial step in delivering a system that minimises waste going into the landfill and protects our natural resources.
“With Armidale’s Long Swamp Road landfill now at capacity, and Guyra’s facility no longer in operation, the Waterfall Way landfill is needed to meet the needs of our growing population,” said Mr MacDonald.
“The site is located 12 kilometres east of Armidale and was selected as the most suitable location out of 40 sites assessed. It went through a rigorous planning process and is approved by the EPA.”
The $12-million project consists of five operational cells that will be constructed in stages, and each will hold around 211,000 cubic metres of waste. This will mean the new site can hold up to 750,000 tonnes of waste over the next half century.
The new landfill will not be open to the public, however, all waste will still be sorted at the existing sites in Armidale and Guyra, and Council’s extensive recyclables and organics operations will continue. Waste that can’t be recycled will be taken to the Waterfall Way facility.
“This streamlined approach will reduce the total amount of waste deposited at the new landfill each year, which will benefit the environment and minimise our carbon footprint,” said Mr MacDonald.
Council has worked hard to minimise the environmental impact, with 61 hectares to be progressively planted with native vegetation to offset the 20 hectares cleared for landfill operations.
Tree screens have also been planted along the western and eastern boundaries of the site to screen the view of the facility from vehicles on Waterfall Way. There is a stringent system for ensuring any water leaving the site does not harm downstream environments.
Once the facility has reached capacity in 50 years time, the area will be revegetated to return the site to its pre-existing condition.
The 2020/2021 Operational Plan and Budget included extra charges to fund and operate the Landfill. All ratepayers are paying more to cover legacy landfill liabilities; the extra running costs of Waterfall Way landfill and future cell remediation expenses.