Former landfill becomes wildlife area

Located in northeast Victoria, Indigo Shire has transformed a former landfill site into a nature and wildlife area. Situated in Yackandandah, the site was closed in the late 1990s and used as a waste transfer station for a short period.

Council’s Waste Management Officer, Mark Greene, said work to rehabilitate the 10,000 square metre area was completed in May.

“In accordance with Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) requirements, we have placed an impervious cap and associated works over the old landfill to prevent water infiltration and capture leachate,” he said.

In landfills, leachate is produced when rain penetrates through waste and reacts with products of decomposition, chemicals and other materials. If the landfill has no leachate collection system, the leachate can enter groundwater, and as a result, can pose environmental or health problems.

Mark Greene said the ‘cap’ that Indigo Shire has installed is a Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL).

“It is an impervious material, above which a layer of compacted clean soil is placed, followed by a layer of soil/mulch in which new native plants will be grown,” he said. “This capping will secure the environment from contaminated items buried at the site.”

Following good rain in May, low growing, indigenous understorey plant species, such as native grasses, creepers and flaxes, were planted over the liner. These shallow rooted plants have been used to ensure future growth does not penetrate the protective cap. They will also attract native birds and wildlife back to the site.

Indigo Shire Council received a $230,000 grant from Sustainability Victoria to assist with meeting the costs of rehabilitation, which are expected to be in the vicinity of $300,000.

For further information contact Mark Greene on (02) 6028 1149.