THE City of Greater Bendigo is building a new $2 million hole in the ground at Eaglehawk tip to meet rising demands on landfill.
The council is also considering a new landfill site in Bagshot North.
Building works at the Eaglehawk landfill site are under way, with the new storage cell to hold 350,000 tonnes of rubbish.
City’s director of presentation and assets Darren Fuzzard warned the upgrade would only increase the lifespan of the site by about three and a half years and left no room for future expansion. “Storage of waste is an increasing concern,” he said.
“There are complex standards and requirements we’ve got to meet. Everything about landfill is expensive.”
Mr Fuzzard said the council would continue to truck waste from Eaglehawk to Patho, near Echuca, as part of a five-year contract.
He said the back-up plan was to open a second tip at a site in Clays Road, Bagshot North.
“That option is on the table for the future,” Mr Fuzzard said.
“It’s something council has purchased for that purpose.”
Mr Fuzzard said preparing the Bagshot site to meet landfill requirements would cost more than $10m and hundreds of thousands each year to monitor the site.
Councillor Peter Cox said plans for a new Bagshot tip were “on the books” but would be difficult to get approved.
“What we’re being told is that restrictions from the EPA on new landfills are so difficult to comply with it almost makes it impossible to open up,” he said.
“It only encourages people to increase their waste. No matter where we have a landfill site it would be filled very quickly.”
Bendigo Zero Waste Action Group committee member Verity Lougoon said the council needed to invest more on “waste avoidance and education on how big the problem actually is”.
Work on the fifth storage cell at Eaglehawk landfill was expected to be completed early next financial year.
The council has called for more community input on the Waste and Resource Management Strategy before a draft is put to councillors in February.