The Richardson Road rubbish tip is likely to be closed within four years following new licensing conditions imposed by the Department of Environment and Conservation.
The expected life of the landfill site, which is located about 9km west of the Harvey townsite, was 20-22 years in a plan prepared by a specialist in landfill operations in 2008.
The DEC had asked the Harvey Shire Council to prepare a post-closure and rehabilitation plan which was presented to the DEC in 2009.
The council did not get a response from the department until August 2011 when a new licence for the site was received.
The licence included a number of new conditions regarding reporting criteria and ground water monitoring. But the bombshell for the tip was that landfill operations were to be limited to the area already being used — a restriction expected to force the tip’s closurein the near future.
Shire chief environmental health officer Scott Dandridge told the council at its recent meeting he was particularly disappointed because a future plan had been prepared and there had been no response from the DEC.
‘‘The new licence conditions have dramatic outcomes,’’ he said.
‘‘There are serious issues in relation to these conditions which are a result of a new Victorian standard that has been adopted by the DEC.
‘‘We just do not know where we are heading until some reports are done. I think we will get two to four years use out of the tip if we are lucky.’’
The council intends to employ a consultant to prepare further reports taking into account the DEC restrictions with a view to maximising tip use.It is believed the site could eventually become a rubbish transfer station.