A new gas capture system and power plant at the Whytes Gully tip would not be anything like the failed SWERF facility which closed in 2003, Wollongong City Council said.
Council has decided to lease a small part of the Whytes Gully site to a company which could generate electricity from methane emitted from the landfill.
But unlike the Solid Waste to Energy Recycling Facility (SWERF) of 2001 - an experiment which sucked in more than $150 million without delivering its promised benefits - this proposal does not involve burning rubbish to generate power.
Instead, its would involve capturing the methane which is emitted as waste breaks down within the landfill.
On Friday a council spokeswoman assured ratepayers this proposal and its technology were significantly different from SWERF.
"Unlike SWERF, which relied on the processing of waste, this technology would see methane collection take place within existing and filled waste cells," the spokeswoman said.
"The gas is generated through the decomposition process of organic matter within the cells."
Council's Waste Services division will build a site-wide landfill gas extraction system to harvest the methane.
Council would not say how much this would cost, or whether it was guaranteeing the operator a certain amount of methane supply. The spokeswoman said these matters were subject to ongoing negotiation.
The company is likely to be Queensland-based LGi, one of two unsuccessful tenderers to build and operate the plant last year.
The SWERF was plagued by delays before and after its start-up in February 2001, and closed two years later with investor Energy Developments and sustaining significant losses.
This was amid major breaches of environmental licences and emissions of toxic chemicals.
It was estimated Energy Developments lost $160 million on the experiment while council spent $1.5 million.
It claimed to be producing "green" energy and reducing waste to landfill but environmentalists criticised the technology as being little more than an incinerator.
When the Productivity Commission held an inquiry into waste generation and resource efficiency in 2006, consulting engineer Dr Michael Clarke said SWERF failed because the science didn't stack up.
"Hell of a lot of money spent, but there was not enough energy essentially in the waste to make gasification or pyrolysis work," Dr Clarke said.
This week the Mercury asked council why it believed SWERF failed. No answer was received.