Kealba Landfill operators fined

Tate Papworth

Operators of the Kealba Landfill have found themselves in hot water again.

The Environment Protection Authority has slapped Barro Group with an $8261 fine for leaving hundreds of cubic metres of waste exposed overnight.

The landfill is licensed to accept solid inert waste and shredded tyres under strict conditions which are designed to prevent odour, leakage, vermin and other problems. Part of those conditions require waste to be covered with soil every day, but EPA officers responding to a report from the public found an estimated 245 cubic metres of waste left exposed overnight.

The EPA began investigating the site in October following a cluster of reports from concerned residents.

Subsequent investigations uncovered fires in two of its four cells.

Neighbouring residents say they’ve endured a choking “toxic, smokey” smell for well over six months as a result of the fire.

The EPA said that works at the landfill over the next few weeks will take major steps to stop odour and smoke affecting neighbouring residential streets.

The measures to deal with two hotspots below the surface of the landfill will involve the operator uncovering some of the waste and hosing it down, which the EPA says may create a temporary increase in odour.

The environmental watchdog has also issued Barro with a new clean-up notice which requires it to implement a clean-up plan to deal with the hotspots, including monitoring air quality and informing the community of results and any progress.

EPA western metropolitan region manager Stephen Lansdell said it was a step in the right direction.

“The smoke and odour problems at the Kealba landfill are not yet resolved, but there will be more work done at the site over the coming weeks,” Mr Lansdell said.

“This is a reminder to all businesses that EPA licence conditions will be enforced.