Councillor Anne Maddern in front of the new one-hectare cell that took a little more than four months to complete.
Councillor Anne Maddern in front of the new one-hectare cell that took a little more than four months to complete. Contributed

Rubbish turned into electricity source at landfill site

ENOUGH electricity to power 3200 homes is being generated at the Saltwater Creek landfill.

The path to a greener future is being forged at the Maryborough facility, where a new one-hectare cell able to hold an extra 260,000 tonnes of rubbish has now been completed.

The project took about four months to finish and it is expected to take about two years to fill.

But Cr Anne Maddern said the new cell could last longer if more people prioritised recycling.

She said almost 175,000 tonnes of waste was brought to the site last year, but only 70,000 tonnes went into landfill, with the rest being recycled.

"When the cell is full, it will form a small hill 14 metres high, level with the cells beside it," she said.

Before the cell is full, the council will start work on the next cell - the ninth on site.

"Our investigations indicate that the site had about seven years of working life left," Cr Maddern said.

"We will then be left with a small mound about 20 metres high at its highest point."

Methane gas generated under within the cell, and other cells at the site, is collected, treated and harnessed at an on-site power plant to generate electricity.

The Landfill Gas to Energy plant is owned and operated by LGI Limited and can generate 14,900MW per year to the electricity grid.

Electricity generated by the landfill gas to energy plant and regional solar farms helps cut the region's carbon footprint, Ms Maddern said.

The site is expected to generate power for the next 20 years.