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Soil Disposal in Melbourne | Need A Skip Now

Soil Disposal in Melbourne

Why is soil disposal so complicated in Melbourne?  We hear about soil disposal questions all the time from our customers and the reason behind the complexities of soil disposal is the environmental impacts of disposal of a potentially contaminated soil.Soil Disposal

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in Victoria is the governing body of creating and upholding the law related to the soil disposal in Melbourne.  The increased attention and the toughening up of rules related to soil disposal has been accentuated by the major fiasco of contaminated soil during 2020 in the West Gate Tunnel Project.  Landfills were revoked a license by EPA to accept contaminated soil from that project and as a result, project was indefinitely delayed, while various parties took to legal avenues to try to resolve this issue.

The Soil Dillemma has spilled over to 2021, where at least three city councils have taken the Andrew's Government to court over the proposed amendement of Various Landfills Permits, to enable them to accept the toxic soil from the Waste Gate Tunnell.  The residents of the areas, adjacent to the landfills are one of the driving forces behind the City Council's legal battles with the government.  The Government needs to dump some 3 million tons of contaminated soil and rock from the troubled Waste Gate Project.

Unfortunately this national scandal has brought an undue attention to the soil disposal at large and EPA has tightened and has promised to increase additional legislation and rules from 1st July 2021 on already complex process of soil disposal.  This has unfortunately created a flow on effect on Waste Transfer Stations, such as ours, on soil transport companies, on skip bin hire companies and on the end consumer, who are mums and dads, owner builders, landscapers and builders.

Soil Disposal has become such a contentious issue that everyone, from the customer to the landfill are struggling with the rules, regulations and costs associated with accepting, processing and disposing of this waste stream.  While we are not in the 1st July 2021 yet, we will discuss the current Soil disposal practices for various projects below.

How To Dispose of Soil From The Building Site

First and foremost - you need to establish whether your soil is contaminated or clean.  If you are doing major excavations and will be hiring semi-trailers to remove your soil, most likely you will need to do a soil report - i.e. take a sample or several samples of your soil piles and take it to the laboratory, that specialises in soil reports.  The cost will be a few hundered dollars, however given the overall cost of large piles of soil disposal, it will be a necessary cost to prove to your transport contractor that your soil is clean.

Other methodologies for smaller quantities of soil, where no semi-trailers are required but merely a few skip bins, would be to ask the following questions:

  • is this an old industrial site or purely residential area (land located on an industrial site has a high chance of being contaminated)Building Site Soil Disposal
  • Potential sources of contamination include oil and fuel such as diesel from old industrial sites, therefore if you are excavating in the industrial area, you need to consider what was happening to that land before.
  • Visual inspection of soil can be a starting point to identify the contamination, by turning over the soil with a shovel or equivalent.  Dark patches or discoloured patches of soil are good indicators of contamination as are any stale and chemical particularly hydrocarbon type smells, are also indicative.
  • Soil from old chemical sites will almost always be either Category A, B or C as defined by EPA in Prescribed Industrial Waste (PIW) Guidelines and should only be handled by EPA licensed providers to transport this soil. You will also find that the cost of removing such contaminated soil will be quite costly and should be considered in the cost of your project.
  • Projects such as Demolition, can often result in finding or contaminating soil, as the old building might have asbestos and when demoliting a house, asbestos and other chemicals can mix with a soil, hence causing further contamination.

If however, you have done a soil test or have used visual signs and smell test and the location test, then you can hire a skip bin to dispose of your soil.

What Sizes Skip Bins Are Suitable for Soil Waste

The largest size bin we recommend for soil disposal is 10 cubic meters as anything larger than that will exceed the ability of the truck to lift such a bin and will also exceed the allowable weight limit on the public roads, governed by Vic Roads.  All the bin sizes suitable for hire for the soil waste are from mini skip 2 cubic meters, all the way up to 10 cubic meters.  When you order anything above 6 cubic meters, such as 8 cubic meter bin or a 10 cubic meter bin for soil, we recommend ordering a hook bin, which is a rectangular, low sided bin.  Not only it is easier to fill that shape bin if you are using a machinery, such as an excavator or a digger but also the trucks, which are transporting hook bins are more powerful than the marrell bin trucks and hence are able to pick up a very heavy bin of soil.

How to Dispose of Garden Soil From Your Home

When we are talking with our residential customers, the requirements vary between the projects.  Some of the most common projects involve:

  • plumbing jobs, which require diggin up of some soil
  • gardening jobs
  • landscaping jobs
  • backyard renovation jobs
  • driveway replacements, fence replacements, new gate installations

soil disposalDepending on any of the above projects, we have been supplying all bin sizes between 2 cubic meters and 10 cubic meters.  Most requested mini skip sizes for residential projects so far were 3 cubic meters and 4 cubic meters bins, while most requested bin sizes for landscaping projects were between 6 cubic meters and 10 cubic meters.

While 2 cubic meters bin is the cheapest of cause, it has not been very popular for soil disposal due to the fact that it comes without a door and usually for a small project, in order to load a soil into the bin - you need to use a wheelbarrow, hence you need a bin with a door, so that you can use it as a ramp and wheel your wheelbarrow into the bin and dump the soil.  Hence the smallest most practical bin, which comes with a door is 3 cubic meters mini skip, which we strongly recommend as a starting point, if you think you don't have too much soil.

What Other Materials Can You Mix Soil With

This is a critical question as if you mix your soil with the wrong waste types, your soil can turn from being a clean soil into a contaminated soil and drastically increase your disposal cost.  Hence, below we will outline some basic rules of what you can and cannot mix soil with.

Soil (With No Clay) Can Be Mixed with The Following Materials:

  • Rubble
  • Grass
  • Green Waste
  • Timber
  • Concrete

Soil (With Clay) can Only be Mixed with:

  • Concrete
  • Bricks

Soil CANNOT be Mixed with:

  • General Waste
  • Renovation Waste
  • Plaster
  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Chemicals
  • Insulation
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Asbestos
  • Cement Sheets

How to Order a Skip Bin for Soil Waste

Once you have established that your soil is clean, we suggest to give our friendly team a call on 1300 605 624 to discuss the right size skip bin for your project and the right size of truck.  Alternatively, if you prefer to order your skip bins online, you can order your soil bin

various bins

via our website, using one of the two suitable waste types: Mixed Heavy (if your soil is mixed with green waste and other allowable materials) or Concrete / Bricks / Soil

& Metal Waste Type, if your Soil is only mixed with the recyclables.

If you have soil now, we suggest to dispose of it as soon as possible, as from 1st July the rules will be far more stringent and consequently the cost of the disposal.  Therefore, it is always cheaper to dispose of materials before the end of the financial year, as all landfills without fail raise their EPA levy and disposal costs from 1st July every year.  Please don't hesitate to contact us for any questions on Soil Disposal or any other materials disposal.