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City’s waste needs met for the next decade thanks to $24 million project

With Newcastle to grow to around 187,000 residents by 2030, City of Newcastle has invested $24 million into the construction of a new landfill site at Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

The Cell 9 project will cater for the city’s waste disposal needs for the next 10 years and is complemented by the work of the Resource Recovery Centre, which has already diverted more than 3,100 tonnes of recyclable product from landfill in its first 12 months of operation.

The new landfill cell will take almost three million cubic metres of waste materials that are unable to be recycled, with the equivalent of 280 Olympic swimming pools of earth and rock excavated during its construction.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Cell 9 project was delivered on time and under budget, allowing the City to continue to deliver low-cost waste services while focusing on increasing the amount of waste diverted from landfill.

“This massive project is just one of a suite of waste-related initiatives we are undertaking to future proof our city and prepare for our growing population,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The landfill will work in conjunction with the Resource Recovery Centre, which since opening at Summerhill in September 2019 has already diverted over 3,100 tonnes of waste destined for landfill, including chemicals contained in paints and batteries.

“Our plans for the site also include a state-of-the-art organics recycling facility, which will divert food waste from landfill and transform it into compost, redirecting 900,000 tonnes of food and garden organics from landfill over 25 years.”

Manager Waste Services Troy Uren said the cell has been constructed with a focus on protecting the local environment.

“Cell 9 has been engineered with a high-tech protective synthetic clay liner to prevent any seepage into the ground,” Mr Uren said.

“The material from the cell’s excavation has also been put to good use, with the City’s Bushland Regeneration team repurposing sandstone to restabilise bush and creeks in rehabilitation works.

“Once Cell 9 is operating, the landfill gas extraction system will be extended to capture methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. This is converted to electricity at the on-site power plant and fed into the grid, currently powering 2500 homes and saving around 8000 tonnes of greenhouse gas every month.”

Pictured above: Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at Cell 9.

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