Southern Downs enters new era in waste management

Southern Downs enters new era in waste management

15 October 2021

Southern Downs Regional Council embraced a new era in sustainable waste management practices this week with the official opening of the region’s first engineered lined landfill cell at the Warwick Waste Facility.

Incorporating the latest innovative technology, the new 23,500m2 cell is supported by a modern leachate collection system to ensure all contaminated water is safely collected with no impact the environment.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi and Waste education mascot Sort-It Sally were on hand at the opening to oversee the first load of waste into the cell.

Mayor Pennisi has been eagerly monitoring the cell’s construction since it began in May 2021, fully conscious that its capability represented Council’s ongoing commitment to meet environmental responsibilities now and in the future.

“Council invests approximately $10m per year in waste management and acknowledges that there’s not much financial wriggle room in this model,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“However, we must address the immediate and pressing need to manage waste responsibly whilst investigating more long term sustainable waste disposal practices that reduce the financial impact on ratepayers,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“Council is committed to finding the best possible waste management solution that will support the future growth of our region.    

“With this investment, Council has delivered an engineered site that sustainably and financially responds to the need to be more innovative on how we handle our waste products - this landfill cell is an exciting start to supporting the region for future generations. 

“I would also like to thank our officers and the contractors who over saw this project from inception and delivered this project on time and on budget.

“Lastly, thank you to Sort-It Sally for the exceptional and progressive work she does in the waste education space with our primary schools.

“She is instrumental in educating and inspiring our young inquisitive minds towards environmentally-friendly waste practices and she is best placed to ‘get her hands dirty’ with reinforcing the importance of worm farms, recycling and waste avoidance.”

Quick facts

  • The cell has been excavated to 2m in depth due to geotechnical constraints.
  • A total of 38,000 cubic meters of material was removed to create the cell.
  • There is approximately 145,000 cubic meters of airspace available to fill.
  • The site will be filled to a height of 12.5m above the natural ground level.
  • The cell has a life expectancy of 5.5 year based on 26,000 cubic meters of waste to landfill a year.
  • The project also included the construction of a new 7ML stormwater dam which collects clean stormwater from around the landfill cell.
  • Fully funded by Council, the project came in on the allocated $3.1m budget.

To support the regional economy, materials for the project were sourced locally where possible and it has been estimated that approximately $650k was spent directly on the Southern Downs.

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