Council leading the way with landfill rehabilitation project

Date published: 29 December 2020

Townsville City Council is the first council in Australia to use a bituminous geomembrane to cap a landfill site for its rehabilitation.

The $4 million project is constructing the final cap on the remaining portion of the Hervey Range landfill.

The bituminous geomembrane is less prone to leaks and is more resilient than other products.

Council’s Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Councillor Russ Cook said it had been exciting to see the project transform the site.

“Our team is working to build the final capping of the landfilled waste, which had been temporarily capped with earth and mulch,” Cr Cook said.

“This temporary capping is required to allow the landfill to settle prior to final capping. However, in the longer term, a permanent capping system is required

“The final capping contains layers of earth and a synthetic membrane called bituminous geomembrane. This membrane will stop rainwater from entering the landfill and it will capture the methane produced by the waste, directing it towards a flare to burn it in order to reduce council’s carbon emissions.

“We are nearing the end of this eight-month project.”

Division one representative Councillor Margie Ryder said it was the final step towards rehabilitating the site.

“Once this capping is finished, council will continue to monitor and control any emissions, as well as doing landscape maintenance,” Cr Ryder said.

“The waste mound will look like a natural hill when it is finished. Council is committed to creating a cleaner and greener city and that includes rehabilitating landfills when they reach the end of their life.

“The site opened about 1972, so after almost 50 years we’re excited to be able to take this landfill into the next stage.”

The capping project began in May and it is expected to be completed next month.