Expansion underway for Caroline landfill

Work has commenced on a major expansion of the Caroline landfill development near Mount Gambier.

More than 25,000 square metres of soil is being removed from the state-of-the-art waste management facility in order to construct a third clay-lined cell, which will be capable of stockpiling the region’s waste for the next decade.

Gambier Earth Movers has been awarded the $1.4 million dollar contract to complete the work, which will also involve the capping of the first two cells with clay so that the area can be extensively revegetated.

City of Mount Gambier Director of Operational Services, Daryl Sexton said it’s a major capital works project for Council.

“It represents a fairly significant chunk of our budget, but the work is essential; this is the regional landfill hub and without it, this area wouldn’t have too many options.”

In addition to receiving all of Mount Gambier’s commercial and domestic refuse, the Caroline Landfill has switched from a single user facility when it was completed in April 1996, to a regional facility

It now accepts waste from the District Council of Grant, Wattle Range and the Naracoorte area.

Mr Sexton said the increase in the waste catchment area hasn’t put considerable added pressure on site capacity.

“The original design capacity for the whole landfill is for 130-plus years based on studies from the early nineties, with expectations that each cell would last 8-10 years depending on the compaction rates of the material going in, but there have also been changes in waste management practices since then.

“For instance, we are no longer accepting green waste or recyclable goods such as cardboard like we did in the early days.”

The Caroline landfill was the first clay lined landfill in SA, and highlights the City of Mount Gambier’s leadership and innovation during the early nineties.
“This community has always embraced good practice in waste management and has achieved a lot for its size and relative isolation, particularly in terms of distance to markets for recyclables, and the private operators in the region have also done an excellent job and survived some pretty tough times,” Mr Sexton said.

“When Council recognised the environmental concerns with the location of its existing dumps, including Orchard Road behind the Lakes, it became something of a trailblazer introducing the lined cells at Caroline. We have come a very long way in the last 20 years and there is a lot to be proud of.”