IT might just look like a big hole in the ground now, but soon the latest expansion of Grafton Regional Landfill will take shape.

The landfill cell is expected to cost $1.5 million, and when it's finished hold up to 90,000 cubic metres of waste.

Clarence Valley Council waste and sustainability co-ordinator Ken Wilson said the expansion was the fifth for the landfill since it opened in 1998.

"This cell will last us about two and a half years, and will take all of the red bin waste and general purpose waste from the Clarence Valley," Mr Wilson said.

"This is the cell 4a and there will be another three sections of this cell built into the future."

Mr Wilson said the cell being was relatively small, but expensive.

"A lot of work goes into preparing the site and excavating the site, then we have to put in a one-metre- thick clay liner, and then a plastic liner of the top of that, then a whole system of leachate capture and drainage over the top of the liner," he said.

"That's all aimed at protecting our groundwater and stormwater from leachate out of the landfill itself. It's not just a hole in the ground.

"Unfortunately it doesn't last very long, because we fill it up very quickly."

Mr Wilson said the longer it took for the landfill to reach capacity, the better for Clarence Valley ratepayers.

"We want people to recycle and use their green bins, whatever they can do to reduce the waste going into the red bin," he said.

"We're really keen to show people that this is a fairly extensive method to landfill our waste and if we can make it last longer by recycling we're all financially better off and environmentally better off."

With Christmas fast approaching, Mr Wilson said he hoped people would make a concerted effort to reduce their waste this year.



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