Responsible waste management
The Uleybury landfill is owned and operated by the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA). It is situated on the site of a former quartzite quarry and has been in use since 2005. It is a best-practice landfill (balefill) operation with strict adherence to monitoring and controls, which protect the surrounding environment.
Each year around 86,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste is baled at NAWMA’s Edinburgh North Waste Processing Facility. The bales, which each weigh around 1.5 tonnes, are then transported via purpose-built wing-liner semi-trailers to the landfill site.
Stages 1 and 2 of the landfill have already been completely filled, capped with topsoil and revegetated with local plant species. Since June 2016, waste has been deposited into Stage 3. In the future all Stages will be rehabilitated, creating a scene similar to the surrounding natural landscape.
For at least 30 years after landfilling has finished, NAWMA will monitor and/or manage:
• Landfill gas
• Surface water
• Ground water
• Revegetated areas
Ground water protection
Leachate is contaminated water that has filtered through residual waste. Moisture from rainfall and the breakdown of organic matter trickles through waste, dissolving contaminants. The resultant leachate is a black liquid (resembling coca cola) that cannot be allowed to pollute the natural ground water (aquifer), which is located around 100 metres below the base of the landfill.
To protect the ground water, the site was constructed with a triple layer (clay and synthetic) liner that provides an impermeable barrier at the sides and base of the landfill (see photo). Leachate is collected on the surface of the liner and pumped to evaporation ponds. The dry matter left behind, is returned to the landfill. Ground water is monitored through regular testing of samples from a network of bores across the site to ensure acceptable environmental standards are upheld.
Cross section of Uleybury landfill base.