Summerhill now accepting lead-contaminated waste

2nd November 2017

Newcastle’s Summerhill Waste Management Centre is now accepting lead-contaminated soil removed from residences at Boolaroo under the Lead Abatement Strategy.

State Member for Lake Macquarie and chairman of the Lead Community Reference Group Greg Piper has welcomed the announcement, saying Boolaroo residents now have an appropriate and more affordable way of disposing contaminated soil.

Under the deal which will operate in accordance with EPA requirements, levy exemptions will apply to Boolaroo residents. Appropriately packaged lead-contaminated soil will be accepted by Summerhill at $275 per tonne during 2017/18 which is the same charge as general mixed wastes.

“I acknowledge that this has been a difficult issue to resolve but I and the Community Reference Group are pleased that everyone can now move forward on what was one of our key recommendations,” Mr Piper said.

“There have been many frustrating and disappointing delays with getting this process up and running, but there is now an appropriate solution in place for the residents of Boolaroo.

“Newcastle City Council should also be acknowledged for putting their hand up and offering to be part of this solution when other options were not available.”

In order to properly dispose of the contaminated waste, residents will need to work through a process before taking soil to Summerhill and must notify the waste centre of their intention to deliver.

Details of that process are included below:

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 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. Residents must register their intention to deliver lead affected soil by contacting the EPA's Waste Compliance Team on 4908 6800. The EPA Waste Compliance Team will confirm the residence is within the LAS Area and issue the resident with a consignment number.
  2. The resident must then contact Summerhill Waste Management Centre on 4985 6600, quoting their consignment number, to obtain sufficient Bulka Bags* to contain their soils for safe transport and disposal. These Bulka Bags are provided free of charge to eligible residents.
  3. When the resident is ready to dispose of their bagged lead contaminated soil, they must contact Summerhill Waste Management Centre on 4985 6600 to book a delivery time. Bookings can be made on weekdays between 8.30am and 4pm, with a minimum of 24 hours' notice required. All delivery times will be scheduled to take place on weekdays.

*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 4985 6600. You can also put any concerns or questions in writing via email to

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


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