Landfill to be covered
Strathbogie Shire Council has increased its provision for future costs to rehabilitate the Violet Town landfill.
Following a detailed briefing on the history of the landfill, council is in the process of exploring designs, timelines and cost estimates.
The total cost for rehabilitation of the site and future monitoring is estimated between $3.5 million and $5.5 million.
Effective rehabilitation of the landfill is one of the critical measures required for council to meet its legislative objectives as a landfill operator.
Earthwork at the landfill in recent years has covered the waste, but the cover is not sufficient to meet the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) criteria for a permanent cap.
Earthen material previously placed at the site to cover the waste will be reworked and will form a foundation for the subsequent permanent cap.
Council must ensure that the landfill cap is designed and constructed to meet current EPA standards to minimise the potential of any detrimental impacts from the landfill.
The Cranbourne landfill gas disaster in 2008 highlighted the issues of liability around old landfills that many Victorian councils inherited after amalgamations in 1994-95.
As a result of the disaster, EPA regulations were substantially tightened prior to the closure of the Violet Town landfill in 2010.
Since then, council has been working closely with the EPA to understand the level of rehabilitation required at the site and to be able to have the Violet Town landfill classified as ‘‘low risk for capping purposes’’, which was formalised earlier this year.
Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said all measures would be taken to find the most cost-effective solution and to seek external funding to minimise the cost to ratepayers.
‘‘We are currently considering funding options and have had initial discussions with local members about funding opportunities,’’ Cr McClaren said.
‘‘In any case, we will be taking a staged approach to this project over four years and no works will commence until the 2019-20 financial year.
‘‘Options will be put forward to council for decision in the coming months after significant consideration and we will continue to keep the community informed along the way.’’
Council is also investigating opportunities to advocate for access to the funding from the Victorian Government’s $616 million Sustainability Fund, generated through waste levies.