Good environmental management of our own facility is a top priority

We have invested significant funds to ensure the environment at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre is properly managed. Components of the environmental management program include:

Leachate Management System

Ground and surface waters from the landfill site can be contaminated by leachate, which is the liquid that percolates through landfills, as a result of infiltration and/or decomposition of waste. It can cause serious water pollution if not properly managed.

Leachate is collected from the landfill cells using a leachate channel and drainage system. The leachate is collected in a five-metre deep well and is pumped to a leachate treatment pond. In the pond the leachate works its way through three reed beds to remove dissolved metals and organics. From the treatment pond the leachate is sent to a vertical wetland (sand filter) for further polishing, then to the sewage treatment plant for processing. It is planned that treated wastewater from the sewage treatment plant, containing a proportion of the treated leachate, will return to the waste facility for use on-site. This use will include dust control, garden watering, truck and machinery washing and compost watering. The leachate volume and composition is tested regularly.

The wastewater from the collection truck washing is also disposed of through the leachate treatment ponds to enable polishing before it is sent to the sewage treatment works for processing.

Surface Water Management System

Surface water run-off from a landfill can cause unacceptable sediment loads when it reaches water, and can lead to excessive generation of leachate, if not adequately diverted from landfill areas to settling ponds.

A drainage system has been installed around the waste facility to collect and divert stormwater runoff into sediment ponds, where sediment laden water is settled and tested before being discharged.