As part of the $348M spend for the EA-18G Growler upgrade at RAAF Amberley, WestRex Services was able to help with the final fate of contaminated soil from the site. The soil, which is contaminated with PFAS from past activities carried out on site, was moved both under the Soil Disposal Permit system and Waste Tracking Certificates as a regulated waste. The soil was deemed to be acceptable for disposal to the TiTree Bioenergy Facility.
A total of close to 6100 tonne of contaminated soil was moved and disposed of during April. A further 1300 tonne of PFAS contaminated concrete was also disposed of at TiTree, which was a solution provided by WestRex for last loads of the day for concrete, as the Swanbank Facility could not receive after 3pm.
In all, there are over 40 tenders that have been released by Lend Lease for the construction of this facility and this particular civil works package was given to Pensar. WestRex will see further contaminated soil come from this project for future disposal through Pensar and also through Piping Solutions who have been awarded the fuel line portion of the project.
The Growler project has an estimated completion date of 2023.
Hazardous Waste, Some Unknown
When an upcoming audit was due to be conducted on site, the client turned to WestRex for assistance. The prior tenant had stockpiled a large amount of hazardous waste, some waste unknown, and needed this taken off site within two days. WestRex personnel arrived on site with only a day’s notification to commence consolidating scattered drums from across the site. Once inductions were done, WestRex Personnel were busy triaging and sorting various drums.
Part way through the triaging process, the client announced they had another abandoned site they needed drums to be taken from and so WestRex went to take a look. These drums where then sent back to the main site in Roma to be consolidated with the drummed waste on site for treatment and disposal.
The project was completed within two days by three WestRex personnel which included WestRex’s qualified Chemist. The amount of waste consolidated and sent for treatment was:
- 6 car batteries
- 44x205L drums of Oily rags and filters
- 16x205L drums of waste oil
- 50x 205L empty drums with residues
- 200x 20L empty drums with residue
- 40x 1000L IBC’s of waste engine oil
The environmental outcomes for this waste included:
- Recycling of the used engine oil,
- Recycling of the lead acid car batteries,
- Reuse of the empty 205L drums.
The two waste streams that could not be recovered were the oily rags and filters and the empty 20L drums which were immobilised and sent to a controlled landfill.
Abandoned Hazardous Waste
An International Freight Forwarding business was faced with the inheritance and ultimately the disposal of some 450+ pallets of hazardous waste which were abandoned by a waste contractor, WestRex Services were there to complete the task. WestRex Services was engaged to manage the complete removal off all the stored waste, provide licenced transport, and over see treatment of the waste.
WestRex Services was able to complete this difficult and large task within three weeks.
Commencing in mid Novmebr 2018, WestRex Services mobilised two suitably qualified personnel to assess the stored waste, perform testing on any unknown waste and to characterise the waste prior to transport and treatment. It was quickly relized that a large portion of the stored waste was incorrectly labeled by the previous waste company and that every pallet needed to be assessed and checked. A further challenge was added when it was discovered that a large amount of the intermediate bulk containers (IBC’s) had had the tops cut open, allowing for the potential escape of the liquids contained inside. The IBC’s that had tops cut off were assessed and any free liquids were solidifed using propriatory reagents.
Once all IBC’s and pallets had been assessed, charateristed and made safe for transport, 21 truck loads of waste was carted away to final fate destinations under the appropriate waste tracking. Bearing in mind the engineering controls of the waste hierarchy, the hazardous waste was either recycled or made safe for controlled disposal.
Service Features and Benefits
Having experienced, professional hazardous waste personnel manage this project, WestRex was able to be completed within the time frame sert by our client, even with the extra challenges encounted along the way. The project was also completed within the budget set. The risk associated with this project was high due to the variabliity of the waste and the dangerous nature of the waste to human helath and the environment. The expertise of the WestRex personnel mitagated this risk to an acceptable level for Port of Brisbane. Furthermore by utilizing industry best practise, inaccrodance with the waste hierarchy, and remaining compliant to EPA regualtions at all times, this project was able to be completed with confidence..
* Waste handled in this project included oils, greases, paint related materials, solvents, inks, and AFFF (Aqueous fire fighting films). AFFF is a product that contains Poly and Per flouro alkyl substances (PFAS) which is a persistnat organic poltutant if released to the environment and could have possible effects on human health. All of these waste were handled and disposed of utilzing the expertise of WestRex personnel
- The segregation and identiifcation of various hazardous waste.
- Safe transport of hazardous waste to identified licenced waste facilitiies.
- Waste tracking of all waste to ensure compliance to the Environmental Act
- Reporting of the movement of all hazardous waste and environmental report of how much hazardous waste was recycled or sent for treatment and landfill.
- On budget project.