What is A-ACAP?

A-ACAP stands for Australian Alternative Covers Assessment Program.

In a landfill, it is important to keep the compacted waste that makes up its content separated from the rest of the environment

Today’s modern landfills separate compacted waste materials from the environment by use of liners – generally composites of clay and plastics– and engineered clay caps. They are meant to act as a ‘raincoat’ to keep out water.

The caps currently in use generally comprise compacted clays covered by a growth layer of soil and grasses.

These designs are often costly, promoting the search for new capping solutions which are now being trialled and introduced.  One of these involves the use of phyto (or plant based) techniques.

For more information, read the fact sheets.

fact sheets

Three fact sheets are available for download (pdf).

Fact sheet 1

Fact sheet 2

Fact sheet 3

They contain more information about phytocaps, pictures and diagrams, and organisational information. 


23 March 2009: A-ACAP begins its 4th year and is set for completion by September 2011 with publication of Phytocap Guidance Manual. As at the end of Year 3, i.e. Feb 2009, some sites, e.g. Townsville, Melbourne and Adelaide have well established vegetation while Perth and Lismore are still in the developing stages

Preliminary data produced by the test pads and recorded at University of Melbourne, indicate a trend of percolation reduction in the phytocovers. While these are only early data, the downward trend of percolation through the phytocovers is encouraging.

Early indications for the conventional covers are showing preferential flow due to desiccation cracks in the clay.

5-13 March 2009: Key US ACAP researcher and A-ACAP advisor, Dr Bill Albright, University of Nevada, visited Lismore, Adelaide and Melbourne to carry out a review of A-ACAP. He also met EPA representatives in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne and attended meetings of the South Australian and Victorian A-ACAP Regional Committees.


22 October 2008: Dr. Roger Stuart. “The Australian Alternative Covers Assessment Program”. Proceedings of the 5th International Phytotechnology Conference, 22-25 October 2008,Nanjing, China.

September 2008: Melissa Salt, “Australian ACAP – Final Landfill Cover Water Balance from Tropical North to Semi-Arid South”. Proceedings of the Global Waste Management Symposium, Denver, Colorado, USA.

18 September 2008: Sun Jienlei. “Progress Report of the A-ACAP GHG Emission Reduction Study”. NSW Waste Management and Expo Conference 2008: Resource Recovery for Climate Recovery, 16 to 18 September 2008, Sydney, Australia.

7 May 2008: Richard Yeates “The Australian Alternative Covers Assessment Program: The Road So Far”. Proceedings of Enviro08 – Facing the Challenge, 5-7 May 2008, Melbourne, Australia.


The following documents are publicly available.

Access to the private documents is available by logging into the Waste Management Association of Australia's website.

A-ACAP Proposals & Agreements

A-ACAP Proposal
Australian Research Council: Application
ARC Agreement
ARC Approval Letter
ARC Linkage Funding Agreement

A-ACAP Structure, Organisation & activities

Organisation Chart
Organisation Structure and roles
Test Site Owners
National Regulatory Advisory Committee
International Experts

Research Approach, Test Cell Design & Construction

Section E of the ARC application

Progress Reports

2008 Progress Report to ARC


Project Manager - Richard Yeates
07 3378 2354
0409 648 813

Project Manager - Roger Stuart
02 02 6493 4550
0409 477 663

Waste Management Association of Australia
1300 651 026