Lead soil disposal for Lake Macquarie (LAS Area) residents

Summerhill Waste Management Centre is now accepting, in accordance with EPA requirements, lead contaminated soil from eligible residences in the Lead Abatement Strategy (LAS) Area near the former Pasminco lead smelter in Boolaroo.

The EPA's decision to exempt City of Newcastle from requirements to pay the waste levy on those particular soils has allowed Summerhill to receive appropriately packaged lead contaminated soil at the same disposal charge as general mixed wastes, being $284.50 per tonne during 2018/19, despite the additional requirements to manage the soils.

Who and what is covered by the levy exemption

The levy exemption is governed by the NSW EPA, and is only available to residential properties (not commercial or industrial businesses) within the LAS Area. You can contact the EPA’s Waste Compliance Team on (02) 4908 6800 to check if your property is eligible.

Furthermore, the EPA Immobilised Contaminants Approval and levy exemption only applies to lead contaminated soil. It does not apply to any other type of waste generated by building or renovation works, such as asbestos-impacted soil, clean fill or demolition waste. Landowners should take care to make sure that contaminated soil is segregated from other waste streams in those situations where soil removal forms part of other works.

Please note that this segregation will also be required to meet the following requirements for disposal of the lead contaminated soils.

Disposal procedures

Because of the potential health impacts and community concerns associated with exposure to lead, a strict set of procedures for the disposal of the lead impacted soils have been developed in consultation with health professionals. These are detailed below.

Please note that these are mandatory requirements. Soils not presented in the approved manner will not be accepted at Summerhill and the EPA notified.
  1. Contact the EPA's Waste Compliance Team on (02) 4908 6800 and register your intention to deliver lead affected soil. The EPA Waste Compliance Team will confirm the residence is within the LAS Area and issue you with a consignment number.
  2. Contact Summerhill Waste Management Centre on (02) 4985 6600, and register your details and consignment number, to obtain sufficient Bulka Bags* to contain the soils for safe transport and disposal. (Bulka Bags are provided free of charge to eligible residents.)
  3. Follow the instructions provided and securely bag all lead-contaminated soil into the specially supplied Bulka Bags
  4. When you are ready to dispose of the bagged lead contaminated soil, contact Summerhill Waste Management Centre on (02) 4985 6600 to book a delivery time. Bookings can be made on weekdays between 8am and 4pm, with a minimum of 24 hours' notice required. All delivery times will be scheduled to take place on weekdays.
  5. Safely transport the bagged soil to Summerhill at the scheduled time.
*IMPORTANT NOTICE: Lead contaminated soil must be handled in a way that prevents it from escaping into the environment during transportation, storage or disposal. It is mandatory that all soil deliveries must be presented at Summerhill Waste Management Centre in the specially supplied Bulka Bags. All bags must be presented clean, securely fastened and free of any damage, rips or holes, including damage to the lifting eyes. The bags will be inspected by a Summerhill staff member upon arrival at the weighbridge and prior to unloading at the designated drop-off area. Any non-complying deliveries will not be accepted and the resident/delivery driver will be turned away and the EPA notified.

Safety precautions

Each landowner/resident needs to consider the potential health impacts of removing lead contaminated soil from their property, including whether to engage the services of a professional contractor. Safe working methods, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and thoroughly cleaning up, should be employed.

Further information about lead safety can be found on the  EPA’s website.

 SafeWork NSW also has requirements for workers dealing with lead.

For more information

Please visit the  EPA website for more information, including a list of frequently asked questions.

Additional information can be obtained by calling the EPA Waste Compliance Team on (02) 4908 6800. You can also put any concerns or questions in writing via email to waste.operations@epa.nsw.gov.au

Lake Macquarie City Council’s  Contaminated Land In Lake Macquarie City factsheet contains information on identifying and managing lead contamination during development works.

This information is also available to download and print -  Lead soil disposal for Lake Macquarie (LAS) residents fact sheet (pdf).