Tip ‘mountain’ on the move

Bulla tip (Joe Mastroianni)

By Oliver Lees

Rubbish from the Bulla Tip will start to be removed within the next six months, according to the company responsible for the site.

Australian Recycling Corporation (ARC) took over the license of the Bulla Tip & Quarry (BTQ) site in 2018 and has since been working with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to have the landfill relocated to a cell dug on site.

In May, ARC received approval from the EPA to line the cell in order to prepare it to receive the waste.

ARC director Leo Radiotis said his team has had to manage the stockpile but is now confident the waste will be moved out of sight.

“We were advised there would be some hotspots, but we uncovered flames [on the stockpile] that were one or two metre flames across a massive area,” Mr Radiotis said.

“You don’t run up to it like a burning building, you have to take out the material, spread it, smother it, and douse it with water.

“A big misconception is that this big pile is going to stay there, but that won’t happen. Whatever’s in the stockpile will go into the cell.

Mr Radiotis said that prior to ARC’s takeover, the site had been mismanaged and waste had been stockpiled incorrectly.

The Bulla Tip has been an ongoing concern for residents and surrounding property owners, including Melbourne Airport.

In March, Star Weekly reported that a submission to have the tip increase its capping contour by two metres received more than 30 objections.

At the time, Cr Jodi Jackson said the height “is of serious concern to most residents” and voted against the motion, which was ultimately carried.

Mr Radiotis said the increase to the capping contours was to allow his company to manage the stockpile.

“The height increase is absolutely negligible,” he said.

“Piles have to be contoured correctly, we’re not actually adding any material, just recontouring as part of our rehabilitation plan.”

Once complete, ARC will fill the cell with the stockpiled waste and then begin rehabilitation on the site.