This week Neil Pierson, school storyteller and photographer, took part in a site tour of the Belrose Waste and Recycling Centre. Landfill on this site is scheduled to cease in three years. By February 2010 it is hoped to have a list of proposed uses for the site after its closure.
As you can see from the photos there is potentially a large area available for passive recreation for the local community. The local Belrose Community Advisory Committee has been working for years to represent locals affected by the tip. One of the proposed uses is for mountain biking. Another proposal is for horse riding.
Since mid November a new deodorising system has been activated at the site. This releases a fine mist of water mixed with an organic fragrance into the air when the wind is blowing. This appears to have dramatically reduced the incidence of odours in the area.
Adjoining the 35 hectare waste and recycling site are 10 hectares of bushland which has been preserved. This area includes a hanging swamp and is being legally protected by a restrictive covenant. Our school also has permissive occupancy of several hectares of crown land adjoining these preserved 10 hectares. As a school we are yet to determine the best educational use of this land. While we cannot build on it, the bushland and pine forest are sure to be an amazing long term asset to our school community. The school bushland property is located diagonally across the road from the new infants building currently being erected (corner Bundaleer and Linden).
The Belrose landfill currently receives waste from approximately 265,000 residents in the Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah Council areas. This will only continue for three years. The transfer station will continue but landfill will cease. Throughout the site are a network of underground pipes which extract methane gas. The methane created during the breakdown of household waste in the landfill is combusted to create electricity by a 1.1 megawatt (MW) engine which is owned and operated by power company Energy Developments Limited (EDL). The current methane is sufficient to power 1500 homes.