Council taps into new green tech to cap landfill

Date published: 22 May 2020

Townsville City Council is the first council in Australia to use the environmentally friendly bituminous geomembrane to cap a landfill site, managing methane leakage from waste and accelerating site rehabilitation.

The $4 million project will harness cutting edge green technology to construct a final cap on the remaining portion of the Hervey Range Landfill site.

Council’s Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson, Councillor Russ Cook, said it was exciting to be able to use this innovative technology to rehabilitate the landfill.

“Our team is starting a final capping of the landfilled waste, which is currently temporarily capped with earth and mulch. This temporary capping allows some rainwater to infiltrate the landfill mass, which creates leachate that has to be managed,” Cr Cook said.

“The final capping is constructed by creating layers of earth and a synthetic membrane called bituminous geomembrane. This membrane will stop rainwater from entering the landfill and will capture the methane produced by the waste, directing it towards a flare to burn it.

“It will take about six months to complete the capping.”

Cr Cook said it was the final step towards rehabilitating the site.

“Once this capping is finished, the site will have to be managed for about another 30 years to manage the existing leachate and gas, as well as doing landscape maintenance,” Cr Cook said.

“The waste mound will look like a hill once this process is complete. The Hervey Range facility will still have an active waste transfer station and resource recovery facility, including the tip shop.

“Council is committed to creating a clean and green city for all of our residents, and this includes rehabilitating sites like our 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.”

Division one representative, Councillor Margie Ryder, said the Hervey Range and Stuart Tip Shops were also open to the public again.

“We’re really pleased to have the Tip Shop open again, so you can drop off any second-hand items you’re hoping to get rid of at the shop to find a new home,” Cr Ryder said.

“If you’re looking for a bargain bike, furniture, books or items for a home renovation, stop by the Tip Shop and see what we have available.”

Capping of the landfill began earlier this month, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

For more information visit our Transfer Stations and Landfills webpage.