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Summerhill Waste Management Centre Construction of Landfill Cell 09 – Stage 2


The City of Newcastle (CN) owns and operates the Summerhill Waste Management Centre (SWMC) at Wallsend, in Newcastle. The SWMC site had previously been worked as an open cut and underground mine until 1988 and was subsequently used for landfilling from 1995.

CN invested $23.8 million for the construction of the Cell 9 site at Summerhill Waste Management Centre. This new landfill Cell construction saw the equivalent of 280 Olympic swimming pools excavated in a bid to future proof the city’s waste disposal for the next decade. This new cell compliments the Resource Recovery Centre, which had already diverted more than 3,100 tonnes of recyclable product from landfill in its first 12 months of operation. This project is just one of a suite of waste-related initiatives undertaking to future proof Newcastle city and prepare for its growing population.

Plans for the site also include a state-of-the-art organics recycling facility, which will divert food waste from landfill and transform it into compost, redirecting 900,000 tonnes of food and garden organics from landfill over the next 25 years.

The Cell will hold a capacity of three million cubic metres of waste that isn’t able to be recycled and has been constructed with environmental concerns in mind. Cell 9 has been engineered with a high-tech protective synthetic liner to prevent any seepage into the ground. The material from the cell’s excavation has also been put to good use, with the city’s bushland regeneration team repurposing sandstone to restabilise bush and creeks in rehabilitation works as well as being reused in the cell and for the upgrading of an interior haul road.

Plans for the site will also see the extension of a landfill gas extraction system to capture the harmful greenhouse gas methane and turn it into electricity to feed into the national grid. This system currently powers 2,500 homes and saves around 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas every month.

The scope of works for Cell 9 included:

  • All clearing, grubbing and topsoil stripping at construction site and designated stockpile area.
  • Construction of haul roads and material stockpile area suitable for over 1 million cubic metres of material
  • Upgrade of the existing access road between Site Access Gate 2 and Site Access Gate 8.
  • Bulk excavation of 750,000 m3 of predominately non-rippable rock to achieve design subgrade levels. No drill and blast was allowed due to environmental approvals.
  • Haulage and placement of excavated spoil into designated stockpiles.
  • Processing of excavated materials for use as general and select fill required for construction of the containment cells.
  • Processing of excavated materials to meet requirements for daily cover material.
  • Placement of general fill layers and select fill layers as per the design for the cell floor and cell batters.
  • Installation of a composite leachate barrier system to the cell floor and cell batters, incorporating a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) and a HDPE geomembrane, total area of welded liner – 124,000m2.
  • Installation of a leachate collection system to the cell floor, incorporating perforated welded HDPE pipework and a 300 mm thick gravel drainage layer.
  • Installation of a leachate collection system to the cell batters including select fill layer for confinement and protection of the underlying composite leachate barrier system.
  • Connection of the Cell 9 S2 leachate barrier system and leachate collection system to the existing adjacent Cells 8 and 9 Stage 1 systems.

Major quantities include:

  • The project scope of works includes:
  • Excavating and removing over 650,000m³ of sand stone and spoil to widen and deepen the land fill.
  • 50,000m³ of onsite crushing and processing of sand stone for reuse in the project, 50,000m³.
  • 65,000 m³ of general fill and select fill placement.
  • Installation of 10,000 m³ of leachate aggregate.
  • 100,000 m² of stabilising of exposed cut surfaces and batters.
  • Installation of 65,000 m² of leachate barrier system to the floor and batters.
  • Supply and place 1.2 Km of leachate collection pipe, ground water pipe and drainage aggregates.
  • Connection of the new barrier system to the existing system.
Summerhill Waste Management Centre
City of Newcastle
January 2019 - September 2020

Summerhill Waste Management Centre Construction of Landfill Cell 09 – Stage 2

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