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RMB share the importance of the Cobungra Facility for environmental sustainability

RMB share the importance of the Cobungra Facility for environmental sustainability

Mount Hotham Resort Management Board invited members of the public and stakeholders on a field trip to Cobungra Facility last Thursday.

The aim of the open day was to demonstrate the importance of the facility and the environmental impact Mount Hotham accommodation and commercial outlets have through their recycling, general waste and composting methods.

A group of fifteen arrived at the Cobungra site and received a brief overview on the management perspectives. The Cobungra Facility is Crown Land and the Resort Management lease the land off Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DEWLP) for a land use purpose of “rubbish depot” and in accordance with Environment Protection Authority (EPA) guidelines.

MHARMB Environmental and Compliance Officer Georgina Boardman explained the features of the site, including the ground water protection, how that is achieved, and why organics removal is so important for ground water maintenance.  

Mrs Boardman also spoke about the evaporation pans - used to treat biosolids, a waste from Mount Hotham sewerage treatment plant.

“The evaporation pans are the last bit of treatment for the dewatered sludge that comes out of the sewerage treatment plant. Each year the sludge is carted at the end of summer to the facility and left in these pans to evaporate over time in the sunlight - the remaining solids can be used as a potent fertiliser,” she said.

The group had a look and learnt about the active landfill cell which is to finish up at the end of the 2017 winter, with a new cell currently undergoing planning and to be constructed over summer.

“About half of the Cobungra site is filled, the Boards expects with the remaining air space there is about a 20-year life span left to it, so it is important that guests and business operators at Hotham recycle properly,” Mrs Boardman.

“What we are looking at doing in the near future is a rehabilitation plan for the used half of the site, through placing clay and top soil to a certain depth where you can get vegetation to grow and have roots mass moving in to the cell, which then works to allow the plants to expel the moisture back into the atmosphere,” she said.

The group were then accompanied to the Organics facility where they were shown the Bobcat spinning and talked about the difference between aeration techniques and aerobic techniques.

The group finished off with a tour of the ground water bore, where they dropped a whistle down the bore to test where the current standing level is for the groundwater and talked about the implications and why underground water monitoring is important.

One of the highlights for the tour was the old zoo cart from Mount Hotham which last operated in 1999.


10 August 2017