High-tech tip cover to save council millions

A new way to cover landfill waste, a first in Victoria, has been implemented at the Koonwarra tip. Presenting on the success of the ‘Tarpomatic’ system was landfill supervisor Neil Ingram, sustainability coordinator Geoff McKinnon and waste management supervisor Peter Roberts. D643016.

A new way to cover landfill waste, a first in Victoria, has been implemented at the Koonwarra tip. Presenting on the success of the ‘Tarpomatic’ system was landfill supervisor Neil Ingram, sustainability coordinator Geoff McKinnon and waste management supervisor Peter Roberts. D643016.

“IT’S extraordinary!” is the judgement from South Gippsland Shire councillors on a new tarp system that covers Koonwarra’s landfill every day.
Mayor Bob Newton was full of praise following the waste management team’s presentation to council.
“Peter Roberts (waste management supervisor), Geoff McKinnon (sustainability coordinator) and the council team at the Koonwarra landfill site investigated ways to save time and airspace at the landfill and came upon Tarpomatic,” Cr Newton said.
“This system had never been approved for ongoing use at any other landfill in Victoria when Pete and Geoff suggested it to the council.
“They were passionate though, convincing us to invest more than $200,000 in this new piece of equipment.
“They also convinced the EPA to approve its ongoing use.
“Standard practice at landfills is to cover each day’s waste with 300mm of soil to prevent rubbish blowing away, to reduce odours and to reduce the likelihood of vermin infestations.
“The Tarpomatic spreads weighted tarps over the waste instead.
“The raps are then retracted the next day, saving time, soil and – most importantly airspace within the landfill cell.
“The outcome has been extraordinary: the life of the cell has been extended by five years and the airspace saved in the first year is worth within a bull’s roar of a million dollars!”
At the presentation session on Wednesday, that ‘bull’s roar’ was quantified, to 6400 cubic metres of airspace (compared to 2014/15), saving $960,000.
This does not include the savings from staff time spent excavating, carting and spreading soil cover.
“While this money saved isn’t sitting in an account somewhere, it is valuable airspace,” Mr Roberts said.
“It’s increased the lifetime of the landfill from 2027 to 2031.”
Mr Roberts said council had “invested” in three tarps, using two in its daily operations.
The tarp is rolled out using the council’s existing machinery.
A video of the automatic, systematic, hydromatic – all round fantastic Tarpomatic in use at Koonwarra is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9eYGYTNksA.