Friday, March 1, 2024

Newcastle council digs in to landfill remediation works

City of Newcastle Council has begun significant environmental works at a former landfill site that took waste from across the Hunter for more than two decades.

The remediation of the Astra Street site at Shortland, which operated from 1974 to 1995, is one of four city-shaping projects included in this year’s record $132 million capital works program.

City of Newcastle’s 2022/23 Budget included $18.6 million to protect the Ramsar-listed Hunter Wetlands by remediating and improving environmental management of the former Astra Street landfill.

The project will include capping and reprofiling, drainage improvements to manage surface water and sediment runoff and revegetation and landscaping, with the works expected to be completed by mid-2024.

Newcastle councillors recently visited the 37-hectare site to inspect the early works and discuss the project’s long-term benefits, including the protection and maintenance of the local environment, safeguarding the water quality of surrounding wetlands and aquatic ecosystems, and increasing biodiversity values to promote long-term native vegetation growth.

City of Newcastle Executive Director City Infrastructure, Joanne Rigby said Council was committed to ensuring sites like Astra Street are managed with the environment front-of-mind.

“We’ve been working alongside the Environment Protection Authority on a landfill closure plan for the Astra Street site to ensure it adheres to environmental standards,” Ms Rigby said.

“This project is an important priority for protecting the long-term health of the nearby Ramsar-listed Hunter Wetlands and surrounding waterways and shows our commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our current and former waste management operations.”

The existing 20-year-old capping and drainage will be improved through the delivery of new clay capping in accordance with environmental requirements.

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