Brisbane landfill

Brisbane City Council has one world-class, engineered landfill site at Rochedale, where waste from Brisbane residents is buried if it can't be recycled or reused. Waste is taken from the disposal area at each resource recovery centre to the landfill site. This site is also where Council’s Towards Zero Waste Education Centre is located and it is a major generator of green energy.

About the landfill

The Brisbane Landfill began operating in 1993 as a world-class facility with landfill gas recovery, leachate collection and treatment, plus a comprehensive range of environmental monitoring.

Waste from ‘the pit' in the disposal area at each resource recovery centre (previously known as transfer stations or rubbish tips) is compacted before being transferred in large semi-trailer trucks to the landfill site. The semi-trailers are weighed before emptying the waste onto the landfill ‘tipping face’, where it is evenly distributed, compacted and buried in engineered landfill ‘cells’.

Each cell has a liner of thick clay just under a metre thick as well as a 1.5mm layer of high density polyethylene plastic. This liner creates a barrier between the waste and the natural environment to prevent contamination of the surrounding area. A drop of liquid would take 300 years to pass through this liner.

Once a cell is full, it is capped with clay similar to the base of the landfill and then topped with a thick layer of soil and, finally, resurfaced with turf, bushes and trees. As each cell is filled up, the waste is delivered to a new cell within the landfill site.

Council is working hard to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by recovering valuable resources and minimising the waste we produce. By reducing waste to landfill, we can prolong the life of our landfill site, reduce the cost of waste disposal and contribute to a cleaner, greener city.

Towards Zero Waste Education Centre

One of Council’s waste minimisation education initiatives is the Towards Zero Waste Centre located at the landfill site. This visit will include a waste minimisation workshop and a guided tour of the working landfill to see how the landfill operates and how to minimise the amount of waste we dispose of there.

The tour of the landfill is suited to groups of 35 or less, such as school or community groups who have a general interest in what happens to our waste in Brisbane. 

Generating power from the landfill

Council’s landfill site also generates power for Brisbane using the methane created by the decomposing waste. At the bioenergy facility operated by LMS Energy under a joint partnership with Council, around 65,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of green energy is produced annually by harvesting landfill gas - enough to power 11,500 homes every year. This is double what the site was generating just five years ago.

Since it was commissioned in 2004, the Rochedale Bioenergy Facility has abated more than 5.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. This is comparable to removing more than 2 million Australian cars from the road for a year or growing 88 million trees for 10 years.

The Brisbane Landfill administration building and Willawong and Ferny Grove resource recovery centres also provide around 136 MWh of renewable solar energy annually.

Last updated: 24 August 2023

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.