Wyndham will be home to five tip mountains over the next 26 years after the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) last week gave the green light to open four new landfill cells at the Werribee tip.
Design work for the first new cell will begin immediately. The EPA announced last week it had granted a works approval that will allow the council to extend operations within the boundaries of its Wests Road landfill.
The council will now be able to build four new cells that will each be made up of multiple sub-cells and can reach up to 30 metres above natural ground level – or 44 metres above sea level. This is the height limit enforced on the tip’s existing cells.
The EPA received more than 170 submissions on the application. EPA development assessments manager Tim Faragher said the authority considered a range of key issues raised during the assessment period, including odour, noise, landfill gas, height and stability.
“The proposal in its final form meets the requirements of the Environment Protection Act 1970, and considered all relevant state environment protection policies and guidelines,” he said.
Wyndham city operations director Stephen Thorpe said design of the next landfill cell, which it is estimated will cost $10 million and will be built adjacent to existing cells, would begin immediately.
Mr Thorpe said the new cells would not radically increase the amount of waste the tip received each year “beyond any increase resulting from population growth”.
He said only one cell would be created and filled at a time.
Don’t Waste Wyndham spokesman Harry van Moorst said the EPA ignored the community’s concerns and made minimal changes to the council’s application.
Mr van Moorst said the group would consider appealing the decision in VCAT.
“We’re still going to be the dumping ground for most of Melbourne’s waste,” he said.
“It means basically the government and all its agencies are quite willing to support these great big waste mountains, and Wyndham is going to have two of them on it’s doorstep – one here and one in Ravenhall.”