MESS: Diggers and trucks create dust lingering in the air at Cleanaway's New Chum dump site.
MESS: Diggers and trucks create dust lingering in the air at Cleanaway's New Chum dump site. Contributed

Resident says dump dust choking Ipswich suburbs

DUST is choking nearby suburbs as dump companies fail to operate according to their environmental regulations, an Ipswich resident has declared.

Collingwood Park resident Geoff Yarham admits he sounds like a broken record after making numerous complaints about dust emanating from Cleanaway's New Chum site.

He says none of the company's dust control measures are being used while the site operates for 12 hours each day, six days a week.

Mr Yarham says no dust minimisation efforts, including water trucks, water misters or sprinklers are being used, despite Cleanaway's own regulations specifying they must be.

"At 7am, finally the water mister was started and the water mist was being blown back across the internal roadway having no impact at all on dust control," he said.

Mr Yarham believes existing environmental enforcement measures are not enough to penalise companies for breaking the regulations.

"It's very frustrating and what is more frustrating is the Department of Environment and Science, they get complaints to the pollution hotline and give out reference numbers," he said.

"I've got about 15 of the buggers, nothing changes.

"I understand it's a dusty, dirty industry but Cleanaway has a document that says this is what we will do (to reduce dust)."

A spokeswoman for Cleanaway said its dust-minimisation processes, including wetting down waste and sprinklers, exceed existing Department of Environment requirements.

"It is not a government requirement that these dust mitigation methods be conducted at all times, however Cleanaway exceeds these requirements," she said.

"Wetting down breaks can be taken to refill water vehicles.

"Cleanaway also undertakes regular dust monitoring to ensure its systems are functioning appropriately, and conducts regular air and water quality monitoring activities and comprehensive environmental works schedules and management plans.

"Dust monitoring conducted in the last three months showed no impact of the waste facility on neighbouring buildings or areas.

Mr Yarham says he is forced to continually keep watch on the site to measure and fight dust problems.

"We bring it up all the time with the Department of Environment and Science, the minister and we occasionally send things to the premier... zilch, zero, nothing gets done," he said.