Buttonderry landfill site judged Australia’s best

Wyong Shire Council’s Buttonderry Waste Management Facility has taken out the major prize at the Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA)’s 2013 Landfill and Transfer Station Innovation and Excellence Awards.

The national awards were established in 2007 to showcase the best that landfills and transfer stations have to offer and to inform others in the industry and the general public. They aim to recognise sites that are exceptional and encourage best practice in their operations.

Buttonderry was announced as the winner at the fifth Australian Landfill and Transfer Stations Conference and Expo in August.

Council’s Manager of Waste, Stefan Botha was on hand to collect the award.

“I am excited with this result and would like to dedicate this win to the commitment of our staff and the resolve of our decision makers to implement best practice at the site,” Mr Botha said.

The WMAA media release announcing Buttonderry as the winner outlined why Wyong Council won the award:
This is an exceptionally well-managed facility and includes environmental protection measures and monitoring systems which go beyond licence requirements. It is a credit to the management, staff and contractors who operate and obviously take pride in the facility.

Wyong Shire Council’s General Manager, Michael Whittaker, said the award was a great honour for the council.

“I have always said that the Buttonderry Waste Management Facility is the best run landfill site in Australia and that has been proven true.

“Our staff have worked hard to establish a best practice facility utilising a combination of state of the art practices, effective management systems and new technologies and I thank them for their dedication.”

One such state-of-the-art practice is the landfill gas extraction program.  Methane is captured via a series of pipes in landfill cells and sent to two power generators.

This ensures that carbon emissions are minimised as the gas does not leak into the atmosphere and it is also used to generate renewable energy. 
“This is a win for the environment but is also a win for our residents as the generators create enough energy to power around 4000 households in the Shire,” said Mr Whittaker.

Approximately 200,000 tonnes of waste are received each year – of which 64,000 tonnes is recycled and recovered and 136,000 goes to landfill.  Last year 110,000 vehicles visited the site.