Council uses drone to inform landfill management plan

Council uses drone to inform landfill management plan

A New South Wales council has enlisted consultants using drone technology to survey one of its sites as part of work towards a Landfill Environmental Management Plan (LEMP).

As part of its review of Inverell Landfill, Inverell Shire Council has procured the expertise of environmental engineers from GHD Consultants to develop a LEMP and Pollution Incident Response Plan for the site.

EPA NSW requires all landfill operators to prepare and implement an LEMP, which details the infrastructure and management of the facility, as well as its processes and procedures for operation.

GHD visited Inverell a fortnight ago to survey the site with Airsight Australia, the operators of the drone equipped with 42 megapixel camera. The drone travels five metres per second at a height of 100 metres to undertake high resolution topographical mapping of the entire site. The imagery and data capture will be used to identify long-term solutions for the management of leachate and stormwater, landfilling and environmental factors.

“Utilising the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or drone represents cutting edge technology and significantly reduces the time required from conventional ground surveys,” said GHD’s Principal Environmental Engineer, Reinhard Wilkes.

“The new LEMP will enable the council to plan its waste disposal and resource recovery capacity more accurately, benefitting the whole community in the long-term.”

Inverell Shire Council mayor, Paul Harmon says effective landfill management is a key priority for Council, in light of increased volumes of waste and projected population growth.

“Last year, Inverell landfill received more than 10,000 tonnes of waste and this is increasing annually,” he said. “Best practice waste management is vital to sustainable growth and Council will be working with GHD over the coming months to develop a plan that maximises the life span of the facility and takes into account economic, environmental and community needs”.

The LEMP is expected to be finalised by mid 2016.

Photo shows left to right) GHD’s Alison Horlyck and Reinhard Wilkes, Matt Holmes (Airsight Australia), Graham Bendeich (Inverell Shire Council), Matt Brice (Airsight Australia) and Phil Sutton (Inverell Shire Council) watch on as the drone returns after an aerial survey.