THE City of Greater Bendigo could again increase the amount of waste it trucks out of Bendigo if it cannot close the Eaglehawk Landfill in 2022/23.
It is preparing to launch a tender process to find the company that will cap the landfill, as revealed on Tuesday by the Bendigo Advertiser.
Yet the council's manager of resource recovery and education Brooke Pearce says it is preparing a contingency plan to keep the tip open longer if there are unforeseen complications, including project delays or coronavirus restrictions.
The council is currently carting between 28,000 and 30,000 tonnes of waste to the Patho Landfill, near Cohuna every year, she said.
"We are continuing to ramp up our cartage to give us some extra life, so that we do have some flexibility around that rehabilitation," she said.
"Essentially though, the (2022/23) closure date is looking pretty accurate. At worst case we are looking at 2023/24."
To close Eaglehawk's landfill, the council will need to find an estimated $8.9 million for a staged project that will likely stretch over several years, Ms Pearce said.
That includes about $2.8 million that would be needed for "aftercare" to be spent in 30 years after the last garbage bag is dumped at the tip face, including environmental compliance and monitoring.
Ms Pearce said the first stages of any closure process would be fairly simple. A construction company would begin capping the landfill with clay.
The tricky part would be fitting early works around ongoing operations at the landfill, she said.
A number of existing sheds on site would eventually be converted into a transfer station in case the council was yet to find uses for waste and needed to send it out of Bendigo.
The council has already started a separate tender process inviting companies and other groups to pitch ideas to deal with that waste into the future.
That process is some time away from completion and it is still too early to tell how much waste any successful ideas would be able to deal with.
The council wants to cut waste emissions down to zero by the end of the 2030s and in recent years has introduced a number of reforms including kerbside organics bins.
More than 10,000 tonnes of green-waste collection was collected last financial year and Bendigonians have been putting less rubbish in red-topped bins since 2014, a council sustainability report published late last year found.
Yet the council is still grappling with a huge waste problem.
About 50 per cent of refuse dumped in kerbside bins was not diverted from landfill in 2020, according to the council's latest annual report.
The 2019 sustainability report found showed Bendigonians threw 22,432 tonnes of refuse in their kerbside rubbish bins last year and dropped another 3805 tonnes at the council's landfills and transfer centres.