What has led to a decision to remediate Greenhouse Park?

    We know this site was first used as the city’s municipal waste depot from the 1940s and later as a builders’ landfill site up until 1994. During this time environmental measures were not as stringent as they are today. 

    After a black tar-like substance was noted in the southwest corner of the site, Council notified the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and commissioned a contractor to undertake a targeted contamination assessment of the impacted area. 

    A report provided preliminary understanding of the contamination, likely sources and potential flow paths. The report also assessed potential risks and provided recommendation on the next stage of assessment and management of the material.

    What will happen on the site?

    Over the coming months, an engineering consultant will investigate options for remediation across part of the site. This will involve the ongoing monitoring and testing of groundwater, surface water and sediment as well as preparing a concept design for the construction of an interception system to prevent the contaminates from entering the waterways.

    What is the history of the site?

    Between 1944 and 1994 the land operated as a Municipal Landfill site or ‘tip’.  The tip was established prior to current environmental licence requirements and was constructed prior to modern landfill standards.

    Following closure of the site as a tip, a long-term vision was developed to restore and use the site as an environmental asset.

    Greenhouse Park was launched in 1999. Since then over 150,000 plants have been planted at the site and the Park won a number of awards recognising its environmental education, habitat creation and other environmental works on the site.

    Council has also been managing the historic environmental impact of the previous site use.  This has included development and implementation of a plan of management for the site and a regime of regular inspections.

    What would happen if no action was taken?

    If the problem is not managed there is a risk that deep ground water flows from the site are impacted and there would be the potential for environmental damage to associated wetlands and salt marsh. The wetlands and salt marsh are home to endangered ecological communities.

    There will also be a potential cost of a management or abatement program. 

    What is the outlook for the site?

    Other former unlined tips which are similar to Greenhouse Park have been rehabilitated and reused in the Wollongong LGA. These include Woonona’s Ocean Park, Russell Vale Golf Course and the Nan Tien Temple site.