Wollongong City Council owns and operates Wollongong Waste and Resource Recovery Park (WWARRP), which currently receives all of the municipal solid waste within our local government area (LGA). Landfill airspace at WWARRP was projected to expire in 2014, so Council proposed a staged new landfill cell at this location to cater for projected future landfilling requirements.
The project was undertaken for a number of reasons, including both local needs for landfill and broader economic and social considerations, which are framed by legislation, policy and strategy documents at the Commonwealth, New South Wales State and local council level.
Council needs to keep operating the WWARRP to:
- Provide capacity for landfilling of waste generated within Wollongong LGA.
- Allow us to consider and/or introduce additional resource recovery facilities, including future alternate waste treatment and materials recovery facilities.
- Reduce our waste management footprint and impact on the environment by extending landfill life at the existing site.
- Meet our community’s expectations for appropriate waste management.
- Make sure our city has a landfill site that continues to be suitable for its intended use. This includes complying with applicable legislation, guidelines and policies applicable to the site and surrounding area, including the planned future use of the surrounding area.
In 2012, Council lodged a major project application (project application number 11_0094) for the Whytes Gully New Landfill Cell project under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1997 (EP&A Act).
This included the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) which was submitted to the then NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure (now NSW Planning and Environment). The EA was exhibited and the community was invited to comment on it from 6 August – 7 September 2012.
The project application was approved on 3 March 2013, subject to conditions. The EA, including the conditions of approval, can be viewed at: http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=4024.
The approved landfill project will provide approximately six million cubic metres of additional landfill capacity at WWARRP. The overall project will consist of the following key components:
- New landfill cell construction (Stage 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3 and 4)
- New landfill cell operation (Stage 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3 and 4)
- Progressive landfill rehabilitation and revegetation of the finished landform
- Surface water drains and surface water ponds
- Leachate management infrastructure and ponds
- Landfill gas extraction and flaring
- Demolition of existing buildings, construction of temporary and permanent roads.
Construction of the next package of works commenced in March 2017. Stage 2 works includes two separate lined landfill cells comprising:
- demolition of roads, drainage infrastructure and minor structures
- a new haul road to facilitate operational traffic movements (completed early 2017)
- bulk earthworks, including vegetation removal
- installation of new leachate collection infrastructure, including sumps, pipework and a new leachate storage pond
- new landfill gas management infrastructure to collect and drain landfill gas to the existing landfill gas management system
- new stormwater infrastructure to divert clean surface water runoff from the new landfill cells
- new landfill lining systems to place waste collected from the LGA.
Construction of Stage 2 works is due to be completed mid-2018.