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Bosworth Road: from landfill to recreational area

Thursday 28 November

Walk or cycle through the trees at the Bosworth Road Recreational Area and you will need some convincing it was once an active landfill site for Bairnsdale’s waste.

 

The 16-hectare site, south of the Bairnsdale CBD and near the East Gippsland Regional Livestock Exchange, Macleod Morass and industrial area, operated as a landfill between 1979 and 2004. Re-open to the public from December 3, the area is now a shared space for walkers, cyclists and dog owners. There’s more than 40,000 native trees and shrubs and 2.7 kilometres of trails.

 

Accessed off Bosworth Road (near Giles Street and east of Vegco), it’s a rehabilitation success story that has saved East Gippsland Shire Council more than $6 million.

 

Mayor Cr John White said the landfill had been capped to Environment Protection Authority standards using an alternative technology called phytocapping.

 

“This approach has saved Council about $6 million over traditional capping methods . . . a great result for ratepayers,” Cr White said.

 

“Not only have we reduced environmental risk and made significant cost savings, we have been able to create a precinct for recreational purposes. We have created a green space and promoted biodiversity on the edge of an industrial area; it will be quite something when the trees put on some more growth.”

 

Cr White said the recreational area has shared walking and cycling trails, fenced dog park, and some seating and picnic tables.

 

“The fenced dog park has been long-awaited and will provide an area where dogs will be able to run free and interact,” Cr White said.

 

“The observatory deck takes in the commanding views of Macleod Morass Game Reserve, and views back to the saleyards, CBD and mountains beyond.

 

Phytocapping saves ratepayer dollars

 

Council’s Manager Sustainability and Waste Minimisation said the area capped was over 100,000 square metres.

 

“It’s the first of its kind in Victoria, and potentially Australia, using locally native species,” Mr Venkatraman said.

 

“Over time, a continuous canopy will establish over most of the site. Plants act as a natural pump, reducing the amount of water stored in the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere through photosynthesis and evapotranspiration.

 

“Plants also act as a rainfall interceptor, which results in less moisture in the soil above the compacted buried waste and reduces leachate levels.

 

“Traditional landfill capping involves using membranous materials or heavy compacted clay to create a barrier between the waste and rainfall. These methods are expensive and require a lot of maintenance to remain effective. Phytocapping performs a similar task with lower maintenance over time.

 

“Phytocapping is still an emerging technology in relation to capping of landfills, and this site will contribute to the ongoing learnings in relation to phytocapping in Australia.”

 

Fully funded by Council, the $5 million capital works project was designed by Pacific Environment and constructed by local company Riley Earthmoving Construction.

 

Council operates its landfill servicing East Gippsland from its Johnstons Road, Forge Creek, site.

 

The Bosworth Road Recreational Area will be declared officially open with a morning tea on site on Tuesday, December 3 at 10.30am. All welcome. 

 

 

Bosworth aerial 1.JPG

The revegetated Bosworth Road landfill site and (top) a cross-section of phytocapping showing various processes.

 

 

 

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