A HECTARE of land in Bowser has had $1.4 million spent on it, and it’s about to be covered with rubbish.
The first truckload of municipal waste was dumped at cell 8 of the Bowser Landfill last Thursday, ending almost two years of works, which saw the Rural City of Wangaratta frequently butting heads with an environmental auditor and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
The end result is a big black hole in the ground with 80,000 cubic metres of what council’s manager of projects and contracts, Paul Somerville, described as “the most expensive airspace in Wangaratta”.
Lining the cell is 1.3 metres of clay, rock and high-tech, highly expensive plastic products designed to ensure nothing leaks into the ground below.
There is also a network of pipes running through the lining, designed to take away leachate, the liquid substance that escapes from waste.
The cell is expected to last two years before a new one is needed, though Mr Somerville said the recently adopted waste management strategy, could extend its life.
The strategy includes a plan to introduce a third bin for organic waste.
Organic waste would not go into landfill, but would instead be turned into compost.
“If we can get 30 per cent of the current volume out of landfill then that would extend the life of the cell by 30 per cent,” Mr Somerville said.
Mr Somerville said when it reaches the end of it’s lifespan a further $600,000 will be spent on cell 8 to rehabilitate the land, bringing its total cost to $2m.
The end of work on cell 8 means asbestos can now be received at Bowser again.