Owing to a last-minute withdrawal of the scheduled guest speaker, President Harry stepped into the breach and presented a very interesting talk on waste management,  in Tasmania, drawing on his experience as a former engineer with the Launceston City Council and other councils. Since his move to Tasmania in 1995, Harry has been a local government representative on the Waste Advisory Board, a member of the Environment Protection Authority and the Northern Tasmania Waste Management Advisory Group. Harry said that back in 1995, Tasmania had 95 landfill sites, many of them poorly managed, with deleterious effects on groundwater. By 2015  the number was down to seven or eight landfill sites. A rigorous process is now in place to protect groundwater and the environment. Landfill sites, or cells, must now have a clay base, an artificial liner and proper drainage and must be replaced every three years at a cost of three to four million dollars. A landfilled site which is full, must be capped at a cost of two million dollars and monitored for thirty years. Harry said that the Heritage Forest and the Brickfields are former waste disposal sites in Launceston. At present there are only four or five landfill sites in the state and they are well engineered and managed. Harry indicated that there is a waste disposal site at Copping, in the south of the state, which takes the most hazardous waste. This was previously shipped interstate, which was quite expensive. The Copping facility accepts 2,000 tonnes of waste each year. In the North and North-west of the state, a levy is placed on waste going to landfill. Disposal is free in the south of the state. The levy in the north and north-west is used to fund new initiatives in waste management. The levy in Tasmania is $100.00 per tonne, compared with $200.00 per tonne in N.S.W. The levy is designed to discourage waste going to landfill. Victoria and Queensland have similar levies to Tasmania. The amount of recycling has been ramped up in recent years. Launceston’s recycling material is sorted locally and two-thirds of it is sent offshore for processing. The process is subsidized by local government as it saves landfill costs. Capped landfill sites produce methane gas for electricity generation. Launceston’s site at Mowbray generates enough electricity to power 20,000 homes and the supply will last for thirty years. Harry said that the introduction of FOGO bins allows the collection of garden and organic waste , which is composted and used by the council. The Launceston waste centre accepts hazardous waste such as polystyrene, paint, batteries and electronic waste. Disposal of old tyres is proving to be a big problem. The Launceston landfill site handles 120,000 –150,000 tonnes of water per year—about 1 tonne per person.