Lismore City Council waste operations coordinator (left) with Lismore MP Thomas George, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, and NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker.
Lismore City Council waste operations coordinator (left) with Lismore MP Thomas George, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, and NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker. Hamish Broome

New technique transforms landfill into koala habitat

NSW ENVIRONMENT Minister Robyn Parker today joined Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and Lismore MP Thomas George to unveil the latest innovation at the pioneering Lismore Waste Management Facility, which will magically transform dirty landfill into koala habitat.

It's called phytocapping - a thick layer of compost and mulch heaped over the rubbish tip and planted with trees - which will not only dramatically cut the environmental impact of the landfill, but also provide more food for koalas.

Phytocapping halves the cost of landfill, reduces methane emissions by 85%, and minimises the levels of toxic leachate which leaks from traditional landfills and requires expensive treatment.

"Phytocapping saves money and grows trees - it's an abbsolute win-win," Council's waste operations coordinator Kevin Trustum said.

The new Wyrallah Road Phytocap Rehabilitation Site is the first licensed phytocap site in NSW and will eventually completely cover the 1.3ha open landfill.

Minister Parker congratulated Lismore on being the first in the state.

"I think Lismore City Council is really leading the charge on phytocapping - which is effectively the green waste put on top of landfill as a cap - it will have a great environmental outcome and capture fugitive emissions."

"Other councils will be following Lismore's lead - this is an obvious choice in terms of recycling green waste."



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