Councillors to be asked to raise wall height of Englands Road landfill

Councillors will be asked at the next Council meeting on Thursday 10 June to consider raising the wall height on the troubled and near full England’s Road waste treatment site’s landfill area.

By the Editor

The item on the agenda spells out two scenario’s and recommends Scenario A. The agenda item (SI21/08)   is reproduced, in part below.

“Environmental Management consultancy Gilbert+Sutherland was engaged to complete an assessment of the Englands Road landfill site. Gilbert+Sutherland has since submitted their findings in a paper titled Potential Expansion Options Advice – Englands Road Landfill Facility Coffs Harbour New South Wales (the Options Report – Attachment 1 to this report). The Options Report explored whether the creation of additional volume capacity within the existing landfill site was feasible and, if so, to what extent it would increase the expected lifespan of the landfill capacity.

The Options Report identified a total of seven (7) potential volume expansion options. This list of identified options was reduced to two (options ‘3’ and ‘6’ in the Gilbert+Sutherland Options Report) through a further process of critical analysis to arrive at the two most feasible options which best acknowledged the known constraints and future predictions related to the Coffs Coast waste streams and systems. The two options which were selected through this process are henceforth referred to as Scenario A and Scenario B.

In summary:

·        Scenario A involves a proposed increase in the ultimate height of the landfill cell whilst staying within the limits of the existing landfill footprint.  This option provides landfill volume capacity sufficient for approximately a further 6 years of operation in addition to current capacity.

·           Scenario B involves a proposed increase in both the height and footprint of the existing landfill. This option creates additional landfill volume capacity sufficient for approximately a further 12 years of operation in addition to current capacity.

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.    Note the Expansion Options Report and the Planning Pathways Assessment and Advice Report as attached to this report.

2.    Provide Owner’s Consent for the purpose of submitting a Development Application with the objective of increasing the final height of the Englands Road landfill from 32 metres above Australian Height Datum to approximately 42 metres above Australian Height Datum.

3.    Note that community and relevant agency consultations would take place via both the planning pathway processes and Council’s broader Community Participation and Engagement Plan if point 2 above is endorsed.

4.    Note that a Probity Plan will be enacted and employed throughout the process if point 2 above is endorsed.


The Englands Road Waste Management Facility (the Landfill) is located at 31A Englands Road, North Boambee Valley (Lot 32, DP 1090175). The Landfill adjoins two other key facilities on the co-located sites being – the Biomass Solutions Alternate Waste Treatment facility; and the Handybin Materials Recovery facility.

The Coffs Harbour Waste facilty at Englands Road. Photo: Trevor Veale formerly of the Coffs Coast Advocate/Daily Telegraph

The CHCC-operated Landfill facility includes a range of ancillary operations related to managing municipal waste such as weighbridge operations, bulk waste oil storage, hazardous waste storage, refrigeration degassing, recycled metals stockpile, for example.

The Landfill has operated from at least the early 1960’s and is currently licenced to accept four categories of waste:  Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) which includes domestic waste including self-hauled, Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Waste including waste from charities, Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste including asbestos, and clean fill for “daily”, “intermediate”, and “final” sealing covers over the landfill.

The landfill currently receives approximately 36,000 cubic metres of MSW, C&I, and C&D waste each year.  A further approximately 9,000 cubic metres of space is taken up by the required “cover material”, per annum.

There is in the order of 130,000 cubic metres of landfill space still available under the existing Development Consent which currently conditions a landfill height limit of approximately 32m above the Australian Height Datum (AHD).

This would imply, assuming no changes to waste streams, volumes or recovery rates, that the current landfill capacity will expire towards the end of 2023 approximately.

Conclusion:

The Englands Road landfill has a natural lifespan which is a product of the finite volume of airspace which is created by raising the bund walls which define the existing footprint to an ultimate height limit of 32m AHD; and the rate at which that volume is consumed by waste placed within the landfill.

This proposal to increase the height of the landfill maximises the use of the latent environmental, technical, social and economic opportunities still available at the landfill site.

The recommendation contained in this report, if adopted, is assessed to extend the ultimate demise of the Englands Road landfill from late 2023 out to approximately 2029 at current rates of volume consumption.”


This all comes as Council’s own consultant pointed out that the Council managed landfill was the main culprit in relation to the odour many on the Coffs Coast have been complaining about recently.

Coffs Harbour City Council have blame “unprecedented rainfall” for odour from Landfill since the consultant released their opinion via the EPA.

In fact just a day after the EPA were advised by Coffs Harbour City Council that they were reducing the landfill area, Councillors are being asked to vote this Thursday to raise the height of the landfill as discussed above.

Here is an audio report on this by Moffee on TripleM Coffs Coast from last Friday; https://www.triplem.com.au/shows/moffee-for-breakfast/catch-up/3223e6bf-3cf3-4dcc-a240-ad3d000a8b4f

And here is an interview Moffee had with Cr Sally Townley about this on Tuesday 8 June; https://omny.fm/shows/triple-m-coffs-breakfast/sally-townley-talks-about-council-wanting-to-raise

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Lead photo: By the EPA.

This week’s CHCC meeting agenda can be found here; https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Open/2021/06/CO_20210610_AGN_2242_AT_WEB.htm

2 thoughts on “Councillors to be asked to raise wall height of Englands Road landfill

  1. At last, Director Raby has presented a band-aid solution, albeit three years late! But what is “sustainable” in a six-year stop-gap? What is the long term sustainable solution – or are we waiting on another expensive consultant’s solution to be drafted?

  2. The odour was present well before the unprecedented rainfall. Do the figures include the rubbish being trucked to other tips outside of this area?

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