By Gwen Harper
FOGO officer, Glenorchy City Council
DID you know that Glenorchy City Council now sends your residential household waste to a landfill in Copping, not to the Jackson Street landfill?
This decision had to be made to ensure there is “air” space left in the future for Glenorchy residents and local businesses, but it’s expected to be full by 2022.
Glenorchy City Council is doing lots of things to extend the life of the Jackson Street landfill, including applying for an EPA landfill extension and bringing in a Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) kerbside service.
Once it is full however, there is no other local place left to open a new landfill.
Landfills are highly regulated and need careful monitoring – our Chapel Street landfill closed in 1986 and is still monitored for the greenhouse gas methane, which is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
All landfills give off methane as garbage rots, but we’re lucky at the Jackson Street landfill because between 80-90 per cent of the methane is captured through a pipe system, converted to energy that goes back into the grid and powers more than 1,700 homes.
Council also monitors feral cats, counts seagulls and has high-tech equipment constantly checking for ground movement and ‘leachate’ (liquid by-product of rotting garbage).
The ‘working face’, also called the ‘open cell’, is where people dump, and must be covered over at the end of every day.
Another EPA rule is that the landfill shuts when wind get stronger than 15km/h to stop garbage being blown off site and to prevent anyone on site from being injured.
But our landfill, like all landfills, is under siege due to the modern world’s waste explosion.
Population growth, today’s mountain of disposable, easily breakable and single-use products, and the birth of the ‘petro-chemical age’ makes our waste stream much larger and more toxic than ever before.
Even our recycling industry is struggling to cope.
To make matters worse, much of the waste buried in landfill is a natural resource.
Especially household food scraps and garden waste, which should be made into compost to complete the organic life cycle like it does in nature.
When Glenorchy City Council brings in the three-bin service in February 2020, more than 19,000 residential green-lidded FOGO bins will send food and garden waste to an industrial composter instead of sending it to landfill.
It is one easy way that every Glenorchy resident can do their bit for their environment – and every little bit helps.
For more information, visit www.wastestartswithu.com.au.