Brisbane City Council operates one world-class, engineered landfill site at Rochedale, where waste from Brisbane residents and businesses is buried if it can't be recycled or reused. General waste from kerbside red-lid bins and the resource recovery centres is taken to the landfill.
The site is a major generator of green energy and the Towards Zero Waste Education Centre is also located at the landfill.
About the landfill
The Brisbane Landfill began operating in 1993 as a world-class facility with landfill gas recovery and leachate collection and treatment. Comprehensive environmental monitoring is also undertaken on site to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
Waste from ‘the pit' in the general waste 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.
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 top 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, along with residents, businesses and community groups, is working hard to design out waste, keep materials in circulation and recover valuable resources to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. By reducing waste to landfill, we can reduce the cost of waste disposal and contribute to a cleaner, greener city.
Generating energy from landfill gas
Council’s landfill site generates green energy using the methane gas created by decomposing organic waste. At the bioenergy facility operated by LMS Energy under a joint partnership with Council, around 65,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of green energy are produced annually by harvesting landfill gas. This is enough energy to power 11,500 homes every year. Since it was commissioned in 2004, the Rochedale bioenergy facility has abated more than 5.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
The Brisbane Landfill administration building and the Chandler, Ferny Grove, Nudge and Willawong resource recovery centres also provide around 536 MWh of renewable solar energy annually through solar panels.
Towards Zero Waste Education Centre
One of Council’s waste minimisation education initiatives is the Towards Zero Waste Centre located at the landfill site.
Schools can book 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.
Optimising landfill airspace
Using landfill airspace wisely will reduce costs for Council and minimise the impact on the environment. Every resident and business plays a role in designing out waste, keeping materials in circulation and reducing waste to landfill. Some of the most impactful ways you can take action include:
- Prevent food waste and compost food scraps
- Avoid packaging by dining in or bringing your own containers. Businesses can design their product and service offering without waste
- Use what you have before buying new, then borrow or rent, source second hand and as a last option buy to last, to repair and to compost or recycle. Sort your remaining waste for reuse, repair, compost, or recycling.