Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    Tougher controls for landfills

    24/11/2005 12:00 AM

    The State Government is strengthening guidelines for landfill waste sites to minimise environmental impacts.

    Environment Minister Judy Edwards said the new guidelines - outlined in a document prepared by the Department of Environment - covered issues such as location, design, operation and rehabilitation of landfills.

    “This is the first time such a comprehensive and detailed set of guidelines has been prepared for Western Australia,” Dr Edwards said.

    “They provide detailed and practical guidance and direction on best practice in landfill site selection, design, operation and management after the sites are closed.

    “They mean future and current landfill operators will have to properly consider issues such site management, liner design, leachate and stormwater containment and management, landfill gas management, noise, dust and litter controls and site rehabilitation.

    “In particular, the guidelines provide new mandatory buffers between landfills and groundwater and aim to ensure that we do not leave future generations with an environmental liability.

    “The draft guidelines for best practice design and management of landfills have been developed to advise developers of new landfills and major upgrades of existing landfills, focusing initially on larger municipal dumps.

    “The guidelines also set a benchmark for all landfills and clearly indicate the standards they should meet.

    “The draft is open for comment from interested stakeholders until March 31,2006. It is intended that the guidelines will be progressively updated, improved and expanded to cover all landfill types over time.

    “It is critical that landfills are managed properly while we move to a zero waste future. The new guidelines are one of a range of waste management initiatives that will help in achieving that aim.”

    Dr Edwards said more than 2.8 million tonnes of waste went to landfill in the Perth metropolitan area in 2004-05. This comprised almost 1.6 million tonnes of building and demolition rubble; 540,000 tonnes from commercial and industrial sources and 720,000 tonnes collected by local councils.

    Copies of the guidelines are available from the DoE website - http://www.environment.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office: 9220 5050