Environmental monitoring

Wastewater treatment plants Landfill sites and quarries Disused landfill site Emergency and pollution Eviron Road landfill and quarry project Frequently asked questions

Tweed Shire Council holds a number of environment protection licences issued by the NSW Environment Protection Authority under the Protection of the Environment Act 1997.

Amendments to the act were introduced in 2011 that mean Council must publish Pollution Incident Response Management Plans and pollution monitoring data collected from 31 March 2012 onwards.

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP)

Landfill sites and quarries

Disused landfill site under remediation

Old Bogangar Road

Monitored half yearly

EPA licence: Unlicensed


Emergency and pollution incident response management plans

Eviron Road landfill and quarry project

Environmental assessment


Strategies, plans and programs

Complaints register and monitoring results

Annual reviews and independent audits

Frequently asked questions

Where is Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre?

Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre is located on Leddays Creek Road, Eviron. It has been the main processing site for waste and recycling from the Tweed for over 30 years. Council currently recovers 62% of household domestic waste with the remaining 38% being landfilled.

What is an Environmental Protection Licence?

Landfilling and resource recovery operations at the Stotts Creek site are regulated by two Environmental Protection Licences which are overseen by the New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority (NSW EPA). These licences reference approved plans and specific conditions that control the way Council must undertake resource recovery and landfilling operations at the site.

What environmental monitoring takes place at landfills?

The environmental performance of Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre is monitored through the testing and reporting of a number of environmental indicators. Groundwater, surface water and air quality monitoring is carried out regularly across the site. The reporting of monitoring results forms the basis of Councils Annual Environmental Monitoring Report which must be submitted to the NSW EPA every year, however all monitoring results are accessible below.

What approvals are needed for landfills?

The NSW EPA regulate the environmental performance and activities undertaken at Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre to ensure we comply with the Protection of the Environment Operations Act (Waste) 1997 and related regulations, and with the condition of Council’s Environmental Protection Licences and Development Approval.

Where can I access the results of the monitoring on the site and what do the numbers mean?

Tweed Shire Council publish the results of all environmental testing on this page. This information is quite technical as it examines a number of different indicators that show whether there is any change in the ground water, surface water or in the emissions from the landfill. These indicators are used to determine whether the operations of Council at the site are having any impact on the environment. This information is used to manage our landfill operation in the most responsible and sustainable way and in accordance with EPA requirements.

The testing works by testing water and air quality at sites before, throughout and downstream of the site to enable us to see what impact, if any, we are having. The results are analysed regularly and if there is any identified impacts Council will determine the cause and address the impact.

The site is located within an agricultural zone which may also have some impact on water and air quality and this needs to be taken into consideration when determining the cause of any impact. This is where the test results help to highlight the cause.

The test results are monitored against what happens upstream of the landfill and also against what have been identified as acceptable levels for various parameters. Just because a result is within the range it does not mean it is not investigated. If a result is trending upward but within an acceptable range we still investigate and monitor these results to ensure we are minimising and managing any impacts on the environment.

What will Council do once the landfill is full?

This first thing council does when we close an old landfill is to remediate the site. Areas that have no further operational use are rehabilitated and vegetated to restore the site as much as possible to what was there before we quarried and filled the site. This is done by capping the waste cells using suitable clay, soil and compost material to prevent the infiltration of rainwater. The capped landfill can then be rehabilitated with vegetation or used for other operational purposes.

The current Stotts Creek Landfill site has large areas that have been progressively closed as landfill and which are now either covered with native vegetation, or used for the ongoing processing and recovery of waste that would previously have gone into landfill, such as concrete crushing and processing.

Environmental monitoring will continue at the site to ensure any potential impact from the closed landfill is identified and addressed should it occur. This will continue indefinitely although if no impacts are detected after five years the frequency and range of sampling may be reduced.

Large parts of the current Stotts facility form part of a longer term master plan for a botanical garden which will run from the site to the freeway. Whilst the site will remain a key waste processing asset for Council large parts of the site have been earmarked for inclusion in the botanical garden. The botanical garden will form part of the surrounding buffer for all waste infrastructure including the new landfill and quarry at Eviron Road. Capped landfills can also be grassed and used for open space and recreational purposes which is what has been done with other Council sites throughout the Shire.

How does Council plan a landfill?

The site for any landfill needs to be picked based on a multi criteria assessment involving environmental, economic and engineering factors. This helps to determine the suitability of a site. The design of a landfill is also heavily regulated as is the approval process to establish and operate a landfill or waste processing site.

Once a site in NSW is selected it needs to be designed in accordance with EPA design guidelines which contain minimum standards. The EPA assess that design before the site is constructed and the site cannot commence operation without an Environmental Protection Licence (EPL). The EPL to operate a landfill includes strict conditions on how the site needs to operate and the site is very closely monitored throughout the life of the site, with the monitoring commencing prior to the site being constructed to capture background data which will be used to assess whether the waste operation is having an impact on the environment throughout the life of the landfill.

The owner of the site is also required to lodge a substantial bond (an amount of money set aside in reserve) which the EPA can draw on in the event of an incident to ensure this is dealt with effectively.

Has Council always managed waste this way?

Environmental Protection Legislation changes as our community’s expectations change and as lessons are learnt from previous experiences. Waste in the past was often burnt or buried in the ground with minimal controls placed on the way this was handled. Now, engineered landfill cells are constructed using controls and materials that prevent the infiltration of leachate into groundwater. Landfill cells are self-contained to ensure leachate can be collected, processed and either managed on site or transported off site to be treated. Leachate is the term used to describe water that has come into contact with waste in the landfill.

What about contaminants

Landfill licences have strict guidelines on what they can and cannot accept based on their Environmental Protection Licence. Contaminated soils, liquid waste and other hazardous materials are not accepted in standard landfills in NSW, they must be sent to a specifically built facility that manages these type of waste materials.

Asbestos is wrapped and buried on site in a dedicated location on the same day it is received and extra precautions need to be taken in the management of any form of hazardous material. Separate drop off points are located on site for batteries, chemicals, paint, oil and electronic waste to reduce potential sources of harmful contaminants in the landfill.

The monitoring is very important as it helps to highlight if any contamination occurs, giving Council the chance to respond and address any incidents quickly. All results of our monitoring are published, and if detected, contamination must be report immediately to the EPA. The results of this monitoring is published below.

Does Council burn waste?

No Council does not burn waste.

What about waste to energy?

Waste to Energy is a term that refers to Alternative Waste Treatment facilities that harness the energy from waste material. An example of this is the Condong Sugar Mill which has an 'energy from waste facility' that burns the sugar cane waste material to produce heat which is used to then generate power. General waste is used as an alternate fuel in a number of Countries much the same as coal and oil is, although this is not currently done in the Tweed region.

These types of dedicated waste facilities require a significant upfront investment in large scale operations and volumes of feedstock material to make the operation financially viable. Many of the current options involve the use of waste as an additional feedstock for sites such as power stations or cement kilns where the waste is used as an additional source of fuel.

Tweed Shire Council and the other Councils in the Northern Rivers region are just starting to investigate alternative waste treatment like waste to energy, which would need to be considered on a regional scale.

Is Council considering waste to energy?

To date, Council has not considered or made any decisions regarding future possible waste to energy opportunities.

Where can I get more information about waste in the Tweed?

Any questions regarding the operation of the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre or the reporting on Council's waste operations and reporting may be directed to Councils Waste Management Unit at Tweed Shire Council.