Not So Clean Fill

Not So Clean Fill

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has launched a community awareness campaign warning residents to make sure they take the right precautionary steps to protect their property from contaminated fill this renovation season.

The EPA and councils are receiving increasing number of reports of fill (soil excavated from one site and used as base in material in building, landscaping or general fill somewhere else) contaminated with building and demolition waste, general rubbish, chemicals, heavy metals and asbestos.

Dishonest operators may offer landowners good quality clean fill, but deliver fill with building waste, chemicals and asbestos in it. The EPA is encouraging landholders to follow a few simple steps to avoid potentially accepting contaminated fill.

Check before you start – council approval is often required when using any fill, so confirm with Council if filling is allowed at your property.

Do your research – Ensure you use a reputable supplier. Be aware of free or cheap fill because it may be contaminated. Ask your supplier for a written report certifying the quality of the fill.

Record details – Keep copies of all records you receive from your supplier like emails, quotes and invoices. If you suspect someone is supplying contaminated fill report them to the EPA by calling 131 555

Supervise delivery – Supervise and inspect all loads of fill as they arrive on site. Refuse to accept fill if it looks a strange colour or has a poor odour. If you suspect the fill is contaminated record their details, such as truck registration, proof of identity or employment and driver log books.

Understand the risks – taking contaminated fill could devalue your land, risk your family’s health and cost you thousands of dollars to clean up. If you dispose of fill illegally, you could receive:

  • A $15,000 on the spot fine
  • $5 million in court fines
  • Up to 7 years in prison

If you suspect contaminated fill has been delivered to your property, contact the EPA Environment Line on 131 555.

For more information, please follow the link