Farm ‘trashed’ after high winds

Litter lands in an open drain on a neighbouring farm.

By Brendan Rees

A fed-up resident whose farm is next door the Hampton Park tip says her complaints of stray litter blowing onto her property have fallen on deaf ears.

Winsome Anderson said rubbish had regularly escaped the six-metre litter screens at the Hallam Road site and landed on her paddocks over the past three-and-half-years.

“All the little bits are the worst bit because that gets shredded on the barb wire on top of the security fence,” she said.

According to Ms Anderson, there are holes in the litter screens and she couldn’t understand why operators at the landfill were tipping during high winds on Tuesday 3 December.

“There are millions of these little bits in our pasture,” she said, adding debris had landed in an open drain where water flows to Eumemmerring Creek.

She said neighbours on Langbourne Drive – which is more than 500 metres away – mistook stray rubbish as a “flock of birds flying over”.

Ms Anderson had notified the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) “numerous times” but believed they didn’t “want to know us at all.”

Suez Victoria infrastructure manager Andrew Carson said due to high winds over the past 18 months, Suez had amended its wind protocols to prevent any litter from leaving the site’s boundaries.

“In recent weeks there has been sustained high winds and Hallam Road Landfill has followed these wind protocols,” he said.

“This has included restricted truck access to the Hallam Road site and on one occasion closing the landfill until weather conditions improved.

“As a further precaution Suez requested permission to enter a neighbouring property to inspect and immediately clean up any litter if required.”

EPA regional manager for the southern metropolitan region Marleen Mathias said EPA officers inspected the site on 5 December “and observed no litter leaving the boundary of the site.”

“Suez management has also received advice from EPA about increasing the number of litter screens at the site and improving its litter prevention systems,” she said.

“EPA issued infringements for litter offences to Suez in October and April 2018, and since that time has conducted regular scheduled inspections of the Suez Hallam Road Landfill site.”

Ms Mathias added litter management expectations had been reinforced including end-of-day operations to Suez operational staff.

Casey manager of sustainability and waste Michael Janson said council had been working with the EPA, Suez and the property owner in response to litter escaping from the landfill site.

“As a result of this, we are aware of a variety of measures being taken to alleviate the problem, as required. These include Suez ceasing acceptance of waste during high wind days, the installation of litter fences and litter pick up’s by Suez staff,” he said.

SUEZ says it’s committed to working closely with the local community any feedback can be emailed to hallamroad.info.anz@suez.com.

 

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