Central Coast Council has completed one of its most significant projects recently undertaken – a new $9 million landfill cell at Buttonderry Waste Management Facility in Wyong, NSW, Australia. With its existing landfill cell, which was constructed in 2013, reaching its end of life, the council has designed and constructed a new modern engineered landfill cell – approximately five hectares, or seven football fields in size.
Boris Bolgoff, director of infrastructure for the Central Coast Council says the new cell will meet the community’s waste disposal needs for approximately the next 4.5 years. “Council’s team, together with our contractors, faced many challenges during the project including Covid-19 impacts to contractor staff, higher than average wet weather and two significant natural disaster events, but have succeeded in delivering the project on time, on budget and meeting expectations.”
While the new cell has enormous capacity and is needed as an important facility for the community, council also wants the community be aware of alternatives in reducing waste. “Council, through its Resource Management Strategy, wants to educate the community to look at alternative ways of avoiding the generation of waste and to recycle and repurpose wherever possible, Bolgoff added. “Actions like sorting your waste and putting the right items in the right bins, recycling where possible, using reusable containers, finding other use for items, donating to charity, selling or gifting – there are many practical and simple ways of reducing waste in landfills.”
Andrew Pearce, waste and resource recovery unit manager, says this project was challenging on many levels, with the priority always to ensure the new cell meets all environmental requirements and community expectations.
The works on the project included the excavation and stockpiling of around 415,000 m3 of soil and rock; the installation of three engineered leachate barrier liners totaling 153,000 m2 designed to protect the environment: a geosynthetic clay liner, high density polyethylene liner, and a cushion geotextile; placement of 20,000 tonnes of leachate gravel, 1.8km of leachate collection pipelines, and a leachate pumping station; and access roads, stormwater management infrastructure, electrical poles/lines, and litter fencing.
“The cell has a total airspace of 820,000 m3 which is the equivalent to 430 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” Pearce says. “However as already noted, the best outcome would be that this cell is never filled. Rather, we want to work with the community to reduce waste in landfill. Council offers many options for helping the community to deal with waste items. You can take your steel, cardboard, E-waste, batteries, motor oil, or florescent lights to our waste management facilities for free. Council also facilitates household Chemical CleanOuts, held bi-annually, with the next scheduled event to be confirmed and promoted in early 2023.”
Central Coast Council CEO David Farmer added that the construction and delivery of the new Buttonderry Cell is important as it ticks off a major project by council, as well as delivering an important essential service for the community. “This facility has been fully funded by council from revenue received in prior years from the operation of council’s waste management facilities. The community have made it very clear to council that they want us to focus on managing waste in the environment, and we are listening and acting by introducing new recycling and waste management initiatives and processes using new technology and partnering with other stakeholders.”
Visit Central Coast Resource Management Strategy 2020-2030 for more information.