Check before you start
First, ask your local council if filling is allowed.
You might need council approval to make sure you:
- use clean good quality fill that doesn’t contain contaminants like asbestos, chemicals or building waste
- do not put it where it could harm plants, wildlife or waterways
- do not cause flooding
- have the right safety measures in place.
If you don’t get approval, council or the EPA might order you to remove the fill and pay for proper disposal. They can order land owners and occupiers to do this.
Ask questions and keep records
- Beware of free or cheap fill because it may be contaminated.
- Ask anyone who offers you free or cheap fill for their full contact details and ABN to see if they are trustworthy.
- Ask your supplier for a written report certifying the quality of the fill, and where it comes from.
- If you doubt the fill quality, ask the supplier to test for contaminants and give you the results.
- Keep copies of all records you receive from the supplier like emails, quotes and invoices.
It is an offence to give false or misleading information about waste. If you suspect someone is doing the wrong thing, phone the EPA on 131 555.
- Supervise and inspect all loads of fill as they arrive.
- Stage the delivery of loads so there is time to check what you are getting.
- Ask delivery drivers where they got the fill.
- Record their details, such as truck registration, proof of identity or employment and driver log books.
- Stop accepting fill if it contains asbestos, bricks, concrete, wood, glass or plastic, looks a strange colour or smells bad.
- Keep your property locked when you are not there so trucks cannot enter without you knowing.
Understand the risks
Dishonest operators may offer landowners good quality clean fill, but deliver fill with building waste, chemicals and asbestos in it. You may get a lot more fill than you wanted. Then they disappear, leaving you with contaminated land that costs a lot to clean up.
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 up to:
- $15,000 on-the-spot fine
- $5 million in court fines
- 7 years in prison.
Don’t risk your property, family health or money.