Tumblong odours

Information about our response to complaints about odours in the Tumblong area, including results from electronic monitors.


In March 2021 the EPA received the first of a series of periodic odour complaints for the Tumblong area where the community were describing the odours as smelling like a rotten egg/sulphur smell.

Since the receipt of the first complaint, our officers have conducted regular in person odour surveys at locations around the facility to determine intensity, persistence, and potential aggravating factors of the odour. Our investigation into the complaints found odours coming from the Tumblong Non-Putrescible Waste Disposal Facility, otherwise known as the Tumblong Landfill / Tumblong Tip. 

MH Earthmoving Pty Ltd hold an environment protection licence for waste disposal activities at the Tumblong Landfill. The licence permits the disposal of non-putrescible waste at the site to an annual limit of 60,000 tonnes per year. The licence does not permit offensive odour to leave the premises.

We are currently working with the licensee to put measures in place to reduce the odour impacts on the community as a priority. This includes the inclusion of a Pollution Reduction Program on the licence.

Our investigation into potential breaches of legislation and licence requirements is ongoing. 

Installation of monitors

In response to community concerns, we installed electronic monitors in March 2023 to detect hydrogen sulfide gas (rotten egg gas) around the facility 24 hours a day. Information from the monitors, along with odour surveys by our officers and odour reports from the community, help us to monitor odour levels at the landfill facility. 

Monitor results

These charts show the concentration detected in each 10-minute sample of air collected by the hydrogen sulphide monitors. If no H2S is detected, the chart will appear empty. 

How to read the charts

The charts are interactive and best viewed in full screen mode. Select the menu in the top right-hand corner to enter full screen mode.
Display a smaller or larger date range on the graph by using the blue range selector directly underneath the chart, or by using the Zoom buttons in the top left-hand corner.
Hover over the graphs to view more information relating to the data, for example the exact time and date of the data point.
To exit full screen mode click escape or move to the top of the screen to display and select the X.

Contact info@epa.nsw.gov.au to request historical air-monitoring data.

Do the odours cause health impacts?

(Information provided by NSW Health)

People can smell hydrogen sulphide at low levels. About half of people can smell hydrogen sulphide at a concentration of around 8 parts hydrogen sulphide per billion parts of air (ppb). There is variability in this however – some people can smell it at 0.5 ppb while others first smell it at 300 ppb.

Exposure to these low concentrations of hydrogen sulphide may cause irritation to the eyes, nose or throat, and difficulties in breathing in people with asthma. Repeated exposures at these levels can also understandably cause anxiety and distress and result in indirect symptoms such as headaches and nausea.

These effects are likely to be minor and temporary and should stop once the air quality improves.

Hydrogen sulphide once it enters the body does not accumulate as it is rapidly processed in the liver and excreted in the urine.

If residents are concerned about their symptoms or if symptoms persist once the odours have ceased, they should seek advice from their local General Practitioner.

People who work in some industries are at risk of exposure to higher levels of hydrogen sulphide than the general population.

Reporting odours

Community reports can play an import role in our investigation of odours.

Important information on odours can be recorded using the odour log sheet (PDF 160KB).

If you are experiencing odour impacts please contact the 24-hour Environment Line on 131 555 or email info@epa.nsw.gov.au.