Key features of Lakes Creek Road Landfill, including proposed
Key features of Lakes Creek Road Landfill, including proposed "Piggy Back Expansion". Photo contributed ROK020615landf

Rockhampton council's plan to save ratepayers millions

IN 30 or 40 years, Councillor Neil Fisher hopes residents won't even be able to tell where the region's largest landfill site once stood.

With capping processes having advanced in the last few decades, Cr Fisher said when the Lakes Creek site finally reached the end of its life it would be possible to create a new natural habitat without the problems Cyclone Marcia unearthed at Kershaw Gardens.

But this is still a long way off, with Rockhampton Regional Council's decision to implement a $28.9 million "piggy back expansion” extending the life of the landfill by over two decades.

The decision mid-2015 put an end to 17 years of discussion on a new landfill site and speculation on a regional "super dump”.

The expansion will start rolling out next year with a cell capable of holding 180,000 cubic metres at a cost of just over $4.1 million.

Cr Fisher said plenty of efforts had gone into designing a system which would ultimately be able to fade into the background.

The site will expand out but not up, with the height not expected to reach beyond the current landfill's limits.

Several layers will be used to cap the waste that's built up at the site over the past 35 years, with the potential for captured gases to be used in electricity generation.

Cr Fisher said the layers will also allow for movement of waste and subsidence on site.

He said the "piggy back” solution would save ratepayers tens of millions of dollars, with a gradual evolution rather than one big payment.

"Some Local Governments in Queensland have had $50 million or $60 million hits in the first couple of years, whereas this will be something where for a fraction of that cost we've got our waste management in the short and medium and even long term set out which is a big relief,” Cr Fisher said.

While there's no need for council to worry about waste management in the immediate future, Cr Fisher said discussions with Gladstone Regional Council into landfill post-Lakes Creek were ongoing.

"Both of us have landfills which will come off-line at around the same time,” he said.

"Anything that happens in the future will more than likely be jointly operated by the two regional councils.”