The first major stage of work started on Monday 16 September 2019. It began with the processing of a large stockpile of timber. The timber is being processed and chipped onsite by a local contractor working for EPA. It will then be taken offsite for use as mulch. The process to sort timber at the site will produce about 15 – 20 per cent waste product for landfill and create approximately 27,000 cubic metres of quality mulch that meets Australian standards. These works are expected to be complete in March 2020.
The second stage of work involved removal of approximately 9000 cubic metres (almost 13,000 tonnes) of contaminated soil over a four-week period. Set-up commenced 18 November 2019. Trucking started Tuesday 26 November 2019. These works were completed on 18 December 2019. The soil contained a variety of contaminants. This included metals, plastics and some asbestos. This ensured careful planning for the removal operation.
The works were undertaken by a licensed asbestos removalist under strict WorkSafe controls. The soil was kept damp during loading to prevent dust emissions. The loads were sealed in industrial-grade plastic onsite, in line with WorkSafe regulations. They were then transported in covered trucks to a licensed landfill in Melbourne, via major transport routes. The loads were tracked to their destination by EPA’s electronic waste transport certificate system. An independent, expert occupational hygienist assessed the site. A clearance certificate was provided for all soil removal works.
Work on the largest pile will begin in 2020. These works will take longer because they are much more complex. The waste will likely be sorted onsite, so it can be recycled or taken to a suitably licensed landfill.
As works continue, you may see an increase in the number and types of trucks entering and leaving the site during business hours. OHS and environmental management plans will be in place during any excavation and removal works. This includes continuous monitoring and dust control. Adjacent residents and businesses will be notified of potential dust impacts.