Browns Plains Landfill
Modern landfills such as the Browns Plains Landfill are far more complex than a simple hole in the ground in which waste is buried. The Browns Plains Landfill is one of the most advanced, user-friendly and innovative waste facilities in Queensland. Even before the first piece of waste was disposed of at the Landfill, there were millions of dollars spent on planning, designing and constructing a highly specialised, safe and environmentally responsible landfill.
The Browns Plains Landfill is located at 41 Recycle Way (off Bayliss Road), Heritage Park.
The Browns Plains Landfill aims to reduce its environmental impacts by providing a range of reuse and recycling facilities that allow the public to correctly dispose of their waste. There are various service areas on-site which give the public the opportunity to recycle any recoverable resources and only dispose of ‘true garbage’ or residual waste to landfill.After arriving at the landfill, public pass through the following service areas:
The weighbridge is the entry and exit point for all vehicles visiting the landfill. All vehicles must stop at the weighbridge, and some must be weighed before continuing their journey around the service areas. Customers are charged for all waste they dispose of, but are not charged for most items dropped off at the recycling facilities.
At the recycling centre, a range of materials are collected including paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, oil, car batteries, fluorescent tubes, rechargeable batteries and aluminium cans etc. In addition to these materials, items of reuse value are also collected and sold through the Logan Recycling Market. Find out what can be recycled.
This area is provided to divert green waste (garden waste, grass clippings, untreated timber etc.) from landfill. All green waste brought to the landfill is removed from the site and further processed by a contractor.
Large steel items such as car bodies, engines, white goods and various other metals are collected at the metal recycling area. These items are recycled and/or resold. Many of the items undergo some form of value adding before being recycled. Separating the item into specific metal types (e.g. copper from wiring) results in higher grade materials and higher returns.
The transfer station area is where all other residual waste is discarded. By the time the public reach the transfer station, all recyclable, reusable and green waste materials should have been removed from their load. The remaining materials are then transferred to landfill for burial.
Logan Recycling Market
All items that are able to be reused are collected at the recycling centre and transferred to the Logan Recycling Market for sale. In 2011, 1165 tons of waste was diverted from landfill to the recycling market.
Profits from the Logan Recycling Market are fed back to the public in the form of funding for local community groups. Last year, 27 community groups within Logan benefited from the recycling market in this way.
Landfill and the environment
The Browns Plains landfill is designed to minimise risks to human health and to the environment. At the Browns Plains Landfill, serious measures are taken to reduce landfill gas emissions, avoid contamination of groundwater by leachate and reduce the amount of space required for the burial of waste in landfill.
Methane gas is collected through a matrix of pipes inside the various landfill cells and diverted to an on-site power generation plant. At the plant the methane is converted into energy, which is then used to power several motors. The power generated by these motors is enough to supply around 2000 homes in Logan with electricity.
Leachate is collected through pipes near the base of the cell. At the Browns Plains Landfill each cell is lined with several protective layers and sloped so all of the leachate drains to a single point (called the sump), from the base of the sump the liquid is collected and pumped away.
A common use for the liquid is to pump it back into a full cell to help speed up the decomposition of waste. Speeding up the decomposition process results in an accelerated production of methane and subsequent stabilisation of the cell.
Limited site space
The Browns Plains Landfill provides the public with all the facilities necessary to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill. But for the system to work successfully, all households and businesses need to take responsibility for separating out their waste from their recoverable products.
The population of Logan is one of the fastest growing in South East Queensland, increasing by around 5800 people per year. At the current rate we are disposing of products, the Browns Plains Waste and Recycling Facility is expected to last until the mid to late-2020's. By then the landfill would have accepted about six million cubic metres of waste.
Visit Council's website for more information on waste disposal facilities in your area.