Queensland’s Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is investigating cost savings that could be achieved by moving to a new procurement approach for its next waste collection service contract.
Toowoomba Regional Council will commence road widening works to support the construction of its new $13.9 million Tier 2 Kleinton Waste Management Facility.
Toowoomba Regional Council Waste Chair Rebecca Vonhoff said the project involves the widening of 300 metres of Kleinton School Road adjacent to the waste transfer facility.
“The current waste facility will keep operating while road construction is underway,” she said.
Ms Vonhoff said the Kleinton Waste Management Facility will be the fifth project delivered under council’s Waste Infrastructure Plan, and will provide environmental benefits to the area including increased opportunities for recycling.
“This design of the new state-of-the-art facility will cater for the northern region population growth expected over the next 25 years,” she said.
“The new facility, expected to be completed in 2021, will modernise council’s network of waste facilities and maintain our high service level where 98 per cent of the region’s population lives within a 20-minute drive of a waste management facility.”
According to Ms Vonhoff, the rehabilitation of council’s existing landfill site will also form part of the overall project, including the capping of the old landfill.
Machine guidance is used in the waste management industry to optimise compaction and give waste facility managers real time data, ensuring fill plans are being followed safely and to design.
Used widely in large metro waste management facilities, machine guidance adoption rates for landfill operations is increasing steadily with council and privately- operated sites realising the productivity gains that can be achieved with this simple yet valuable tool.
One such progressive facility is managed by Toowoomba Regional Council to the west of Brisbane in South East Queensland.
According to Toowoomba Regional Council Water and Waste Portfolio Leader Bill Cahill, the waste facility services a population of around 130,000 people and manages 50,000 tonnes of waste per year.
“Safe and efficient use of our council waste facility is important to ensure its longevity and optimise capacity,” Mr Cahill said.
“Adopting innovative technology is one way to maximise productivity and proactively implement best practice waste management.”
Just over a year ago, the council invested in Carlson’s LandfillGrade machine guidance systems for the landfills 37-tonne compactor and CAT 963 drott.
Carlson’s LandfillGrade solution utilises precise GPS technology, with an easy to follow design displayed in the cab of the machine, which gives the operator a clear visual display of the machine’s position relative to compaction design.
A simple colour code of green for optimal compaction, and blue for over compaction, gives a quick visual reference throughout the working day.
Real time information for the operators enables accurate loading and compacting while minimising air space, with the ability to see how much more is needed on a lift-by-lift basis.
Position Partners Landfill, Mining & Solar Business Manager Andrew Granger said with the operators’ increased ability to work to design without external survey checks, rework is reduced and there is improved safety as batters are graded to design and not made too steep.
“Machine guidance for waste management applications gives accurate and timely reporting capabilities along with certainty that staff and machine operators are working to the latest fill plans,” Mr Granger said.
Position Partners distributes and supports Carlson Landfill machine guidance technology throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
“The company has branches in every state and territory of Australia and prides itself on training, support and services for the technology to ensure operators and managers are maximising productivity gains,” Mr Granger said.
Toowoomba Regional Council is looking for expressions of interest to develop the landfill gas resource at its major landfill.
The council has completed a business case which has identified the significant resource available at the Toowoomba regional landfill.
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Landfill gas could help supply the council with a sustainable source of gas and electricity. The landfill is also next to major energy users including the Wetalla Water Reclamation Facility, the APA gas pipeline and the Baillie Henderson Hospital.
Two key options the business case identified were to use the resource to produce electricity for the Wetalla treatment plant, other council facilities or export into the electricity grid, or produce compressed natural gas for use in council vehicles, facilities or into the local gas grid.
The Toowoomba Regional Council has a three-step plan to enter into an arrangement, with the first accepting expressions of interest, followed by early respondent involvement and formal commercial tender.
Companies that are able to utilise more than one landfill gas constituent will be considered more favourably than others that only seeks to utilise one.
Applications for expressions of interest close on 24 April.
We spoke with Troy Uren, Toowoomba Regional Council Manager Waste Services, about their revolutionary automated waste transfer station network and overall waste management strategy.