Space-saving lid trial at landfill

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by Chris Tobin

Special lids will be trialled at Timaru’s landfill starting on September 1.

At present, after waste is placed at the tip face it has to be covered daily with clay or soil.

As an alternative the Timaru District Council’s waste minimisation unit has been looking at using lids the shape of a large garage door which can be lifted by landfill machinery and placed on the ground.

A report from landfill engineer consultant Tonkin and Taylor Ltd said the use of lids was likely to be cost-effective, depending on operational variables.

“It’s difficult to put an exact dollar value on this, which is why we’re undertaking the trial, but even small savings of landfill space can be significant,” council waste minimisation manager Ruth Clarke said.

“It would be estimated to save landfill space by removing the daily cover soil that is used to cover the tip face. The purpose of the trial is to work out how much it would save.

“A further benefit is the ability to divert clean-fill used for daily cover to the stage 1 closed landfill to use for capping, as the volume required for this over the next 20 years is significant.”

The lids had yet to be built but would be made locally at a cost of $90,000.

“This is an unbudgeted item but it is expected that it will save this value in airspace over two to three years, deferring the capital cost of building a new cell,” the council said in response to a submission made on the 2020-21 annual plan.

ECan has approved the lid trial.