Armidale Regional Council is applying for a grant from the NSW Government to remediate its old Guyra Landfill.
A public meeting was held 12 January to inform residents of the planned works and why rehabilitation of the site is needed, following the landfill’s closure 12 years ago.
According to council’s Businesses and Services Director Scot MacDonald, the NSW EPA wrote to Armidale Regional Council in 2018, indicating a number of concerns with the site previously managed by the former Guyra Shire Council.
“Landfills can potentially cause pollution risks to the environment, even after long periods of closure,” he said.
“In order for Armidale Regional Council to ensure there is no lasting pollution, funding is needed.”
Armidale Regional Council is hoping to secure $3,787,374 in funding as part of the NSW Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, which will go towards clearing and grubbing the site, covering and capping exposed waste, realigning and sealing the current batters, cleaning up leachate and planting vegetation.
Funding would also be used to upgrade the current Recycling and Waste Transfer Station.
“These works are all necessary to ensure the site does not pose risks to the long-term health of the environment and the catchment that supplies the drinking water for Armidale and Guyra,” MacDonald said.
“Upgrading the existing Recycling and Waste Transfer Station would also be a huge benefit to the local community, with plans to install four 30 cubic metre skip bins and improve recycling facilities, along with improving access and internal roads, perimeter fencing and landscaping.”
These plans to rehabilitate and upgrade the site depend on the success of the grant application, and due to the cost of the project, waste fees could potentially rise.
“This is not a decision council will make lightly, however, we must do whatever it takes to protect the region’s landscape and water sources,” MacDonald said.
“Community consultation will be a major part of the process, and will be an ongoing factor throughout the planning stage.”
Guyra’s Recycling and Transfer Station will continue to remain open to the public.
Image credit: Armidale Regional Council.