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Friday, January 29, 2021

City dumps $24 million into new landfill site

A new landfill site’s construction saw the equivalent of 280 Olympic swimming pools excavated in a bid to future proof the city’s waste disposal for the next decade.

City of Newcastle has invested $24 million for the construction of the site at Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the facility would complement the Resource Recovery Centre, which had already diverted more than 3,100 tonnes of recyclable product from landfill in its first 12 months of operation.

“This massive project is just one of a suite of waste-related initiatives we are undertaking to future proof our city and prepare for our growing population,” she said.

“Our plans for the site also include a state-of-the-art organics recycling facility, which will divert food waste from landfill and transform it into compost, redirecting 900,000 tonnes of food and garden organics from landfill over 25 years.”

The new landfill site will hold 3 million cubic metres of waste.

The Cell 9 project will hold a capacity of three million cubic metres of waste that isn’t able to be recycled.

City of Newcastle’s waste services manager Troy Uren added the new landfill site was constructed with environmental concerns in mind.

“Cell 9 has been engineered with a high-tech protective synthetic clay liner to prevent any seepage into the ground,” he said.

“The material from the cell’s excavation has also been put to good use, with the city’s bushland regeneration team repurposing sandstone to restabilise bush and creeks in rehabilitation works.”

Plans for the site will also see the extension of a landfill gas extraction system to capture the harmful greenhouse gas methane and turn it into electricity to feed into the national grid.  

The council states this system currently powers 2,500 homes and saves around 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas every month.