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As there is no waste levy, recycling of soils, sediments and other by-products of construction and maintenance in Queensland is largely ignored. There are also no waste classification guidelines, meaning adequate assessment of waste is not frequently undertaken. However, this isn’t always the case. When some “outside of the box” material is to be excavated for disposal, questions arise as to its suitability for recycling. This was exactly the case for one of SESL’s clients – VENTIA.

 SESL was commissioned to assess material collected within Yorks Hollow, a sedimentation basin, which collects the runoff from Brisbane’s Inner City Bypass. The materials were in-situ, beneath the detailed stormwater within the basin. It was the hope of VENTIA that the materials within the basin would be suitable for recycling off-site. In order to determine this, it was requested that the material be assessed for contaminants of potential concern and particle size.

 SESL’s suitably qualified environmental consultants waded into the basin (using appropriate PPE in the form of waders and compressed gas-inflatable life jackets) to collect sediment samples from throughout the deposition profile. Samples were collected from several locations within the basin, with a total of ten samples analysed by the laboratory.

 The information obtained by this assessment was used by recycling facilities to determine the suitability of the material for inclusion in their treatment processes. Depending on the Environmentally Relevant Activities that facilities are licensed to conduct, they may or may not be able to receive certain waste products. VENTIA was able to provide the assessment report and laboratory certificates to waste management facilities, who made informed decisions as to the suitability of their facilities to manage the material.

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