The Benalla Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre will be diverting commercial waste to operations in Shepparton and Wangaratta for approximately eight weeks following delays in the completion of a new landfill cell and leachate pond.
The diversion, which will not affect kerbside waste collection for households or businesses, has been made under the direction of the Environment Protection Authority. The landfill will not be able to accept commercial waste from 19 February until the new cell is completed, which is expected to be by the end of April 2016.
The delay in the construction of the new cell has been due in part to wet weather at critical points of the project and difficulties obtaining materials to finalise the project. In the meantime, the current landfill cell has exceeded its capacity.
The Council’s kerbside waste collection will continue as usual.
Residents will still be able to unload trailers and car loads of waste into skips provided on site.
Commercial operators will be able to use facilities at Wangaratta and Shepparton.
Recyclable and green waste will still be accepted at the landfill.
“We have been working closely with the EPA and we have done all we can to avoid this situation, but the delays with the construction of the landfill cell due to bad weather last year have left us with no choice,” said CEO Tony McIlroy.
“We have made arrangements for waste diversion in a way that minimises the impact on our local community and other users of the service, and keeps any additional expense to the Council as low as possible
“This decision will require commercial operators to make alternative arrangements to use other facilities in the region, and we regret the inconvenience to their business.
“This situation is indicative of the complexity of constructing a landfill cell across multiple suppliers and contractors, several different layers of government reporting at every stage of the project, and the variability of the weather.
“The issues we are experiencing at the moment highlight the importance of green initiatives such as our organic waste service and recycling programs. The way the community has embraced these initiatives means that since the introduction of the organics service in July 2015 to the end of December 2015, the amount of waste going to landfill was reduced by 50.5% or 928 tonnes, compared to the same period last year. This means that this point has come much later than it would have otherwise.
“This demonstrates the very real value that waste diversion activities have for the whole community, and this will only be amplified in years to come as the cost of managing landfill continues to rise.”