Fixing Violet Town landfill
Council told rehabilitation costs for site estimated at between $3.5 to $5.5 million
STRATHBOGIE Shire Council has increased its provision for future costs to rehabilitate the Violet Town landfill.
Council has been provided with a detailed briefing on the history of the Violet Town landfill and is currently exploring designs, timelines and cost estimates.
The total cost behind the rehabilitation of the site alongside its future monitoring is estimated between $3.5 million to $5.5 million.
Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said all measures will 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.
Effective rehabilitation of the landfill is a critical measures and is required for council to meet its legislative objectives as a landfill operator.
Council said 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.
Council said earthen material previously placed at the site to cover the waste will be reworked and will form a foundation for the subsequent permanent cap, with council ensuring the landfill cap is designed and constructed to meet current EPA standards.
This will later 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.
Alongside EPA, council has been working 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.
Mayor McClaren said council is currently considering funding options and has had initial discussions with local members about funding opportunities.
“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,” Cr McClaren said.
“We appreciate the significance of this project and we ask our community for their patience as we investigate all viable options.
“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 will also be investigating opportunities to advocate for access to the funding from the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Fund.
The fund contains over $616 million, primarily generated through levies placed on councils for waste that goes to landfill.