Waste generated as a result of a bush fire needs to go to a lawful facility, no matter who is transporting it, to ensure soil, water and human health is protected. A lawful facility is a waste facility which is lawfully authorised to receive the type of material you take to it. A list of where to take your waste is below.
You must keep proof of the ‘lawful disposal’ – that means you need the receipt or a copy of the receipt. If a contractor is used, you’ll need to request that they provide you with a copy.
When cleaning up your property, make sure you:
- moisten ash with water to minimise dust and keep it damp, but do not use high pressure water sprays.
- don’t spread ash around your property, particularly if asbestos materials were used in your home or other structures, or CCA-treated timber was burnt.
- don’t bury building rubble as it may contain hazardous materials.
Waste disposal declaration form
You must present a completed ‘Waste Disposal Declaration form’ when you arrive at any facility, with your waste. If you don’t, the facility may not accept your waste or you may be charged full fees, in addition to the Waste and Environment Levy.
Download the Waste disposal declaration form.
Types of waste after a bush fire
Waste resulting from a fire is called fire damaged debris. There are 4 types of fire damaged debris, and where your waste can go will depend on the type of waste it is. There are four categories of waste:
- Minor site clean-up waste (uncontaminated property)
Fire damaged debris where significant structural damage has not occurred to the residence on a property, but there is damage to other things on the property like trees, plants, landscaping, fences, metal sheds etc. Minor site clean-up can be typically undertaken without the need for specialist equipment or personnel and the resulting quantities of waste can usually be transported by ute, trailer, small truck or skip bin. Minor site clean-up waste is from sites confirmed not to contain ACM.
- Bulk uncontaminated waste
Fire damaged debris (that is not contaminated with ACM) where significant structural damage has occurred to the residence on a property that requires partial or total demolition of the structure. Bulk uncontaminated waste also includes any additional uncontaminated items damaged by fire on the property (e.g. trees, plants, landscaping, fences, sheds, vehicles, etc.).
- ACM contaminated waste
Fire damaged debris that has been identified by visual assessment only as potentially contaminated with ACM. Fire damaged debris identified as being potentially contaminated with ACM is deemed to be contaminated with ACM, unless confirmed otherwise by an occupational hygienist or, in the case of friable asbestos, a licensed asbestos assessor. This means that there is no need for forensic testing to confirm the presence of asbestos in situations where there is a high likelihood that the fire damaged debris is indeed contaminated with ACM. The NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Hazardous Incident and Environmental Health Branch is responsible to assess and treat asbestos on site.
- Non-ACM hazardous waste
Any other hazardous items that may be present in fire damaged debris such as unvented gas bottles, pesticides, petrol, oils, lead acid batteries, pool chemicals, paint, unidentifiable chemicals etc. Non-ACM contaminated waste will almost always be discrete items as opposed to bulk quantities of waste.
Transport and delivering waste
All wastes from fire damage debris must be transported lawfully. That means you must:
- secure the load so it is not able to fall off the vehicle transporting it
- cover the load to prevent waste blowing out of the vehicle transporting it (e.g. with a tarpaulin or retractable cover or similar)
- take it to a facility that can lawfully receive it
You don’t need to let the facility know you’re coming if you have uncontaminated waste, at both the Blaxland and Katoomba Waste Management Facilities. You must book an appointment to take bush fire waste to the Lithgow Solid Waste Facility