Copping landfill site gets EPA approval

The Tasmanian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved Southern Waste Solutions’ controlled waste facility at the Copping landfill site.

The Copping C-Cell facility will focus on controlled waste, which is material that needs additional levels of secure storage beyond the normal landfill.

The proposed not-for-profit facility plans to limit its control to under level 4 category waste, prohibiting liquid waste from being accepted or placed into the facility and reducing the impact to the environment through soil or water contamination.

Southern Waste Solutions’ CEO Christine Bell said major players were interested in using the site as a hazardous waste facility, including the Australian Antarctic Division, with discussions still under way.

“With the Australian Antarctic Division there will be a long lead time, we have to set aside funds for budget, book space on ships from waste back from the Antarctic, so it could take 12 months for substantial quantities,” Ms Bell said.

She said liquid will not be accepted, and materials to be accepted include solids and sludges such as contaminated soil, solid paint waste, building materials and industrial residues.

Waste materials will be immediately unloaded and securely contained within the facility upon arrival to prevent contamination.

The project received $1.6 million from the Clarence City Council, a $2.4 million loan and $2 million from the Tasmanian Government.

Ms Bell said the Copping landfill site is an ideal location to service agriculture, aquaculture, industry and small businesses.

“We have very good underlying geology and we have a large air space available, and a good record of secure operation. Basically the C cell is being built next to the existing landfill, so there will be synergies between the two. If one tests below a certain level it will be able to go to the existing landfill.”

She has previously said that remediating the C cell site at the end of its useful life will be at no cost to ratepayers, as the costs will be covered by those who use the facility.

The business model allows for a portion of the fee to be collected at the gate over the life of the site, which will be placed into a multimillion dollar trust fund to cover potential future liabilities, and unlikely events, including breaches of the C cell liners.

The facility is jointly owned by the Clarence, Sorrell, Tasman and Kingsborough Councils.

Construction is expected to be completed by July.

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