Rubbish bins

Landfill Buffer Distances

In March 2008, WA Local Government Association representatives met with representatives of the Licencing and Policy Unit of the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) regarding landfill buffer distances.

DEC is the regulatory authority responsible for issuing a works approval to construct and a licence or registration to operate for landfills which meet the prescribed premises threshold for Categories 64 and 89, as specified in Schedule 1 of the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987. DEC clarified that a 500m landfill buffer distance between Class II and III (putrescible) landfills and sensitive premises is recommended. Landfills have the potential for issues such as wind blown waste, dust, odour and vermin and conflicting land uses can be avoided where separation distances are maintained. The recommended buffer distance for Class I inert landfills (Category 63) is 150m.

Licence holders for landfills should ideally own the land within the buffer distance, seek to purchase that land in the near future, or have binding agreements where by the adjoining landowner will not use the land for sensitive land uses within an agreed timeframe. Local Government need to provide advice on buffer distances to proponents requesting to set up landfills within their shire as inadequate landfill buffer distances could potentially lead to DEC rejecting works approval and licence applications.

Separation Distances between Industrial and Sensitive Land Uses

For more information please contact the Department of Environment and Conservation on (08) 6364 6500.