Skip to main content

Stench response is on the nose

FAMILIES in Melbourne's west are worried about a putrid smell that has been wafting over the area for at least a year. More than 50 people have complained to the Environment Protection Authority Victoria about the rotting garbage smell, with one Derrimut resident, Deepa Coello, saying she feared it could have long-term health implications for her 18-month-old toddler Teanna. The EPA has received complaints from residents in Burnside, Caroline Springs, Deer Park and Derrimut, where Mrs Coello says the stench is usually at its worst after 7pm. ''It's getting embarrassing because it's usually at times when we're entertaining guests and they notice the smell,'' Mrs Coello, who is 14 weeks' pregnant, told The Sunday Age. ''I'm not exactly sure what the smell is so I'm just a bit concerned it could be some sort of industrial pollution. It's definitely not normal. It's such a bad smell I think it must be … dangerous.'' The Coellos live near two industrial sites: the Orica plastics, chemicals and explosives plant on Ballarat Road, Deer Park; and the Boral Western Landfill on Riding Boundary Road, Truganina. Orica, which was forced to close down its Kooragang Island ammonia plant near Newcastle, NSW, after a toxic gas leak in August, operates a number of businesses at its Deer Park site in the areas of adhesives, plastics and specialty chemicals, as well as a small explosives business manufacturing sophisticated initiating systems. The Boral plant is one of the largest landfills in Australia, accepting about 400,000-500,000 tonnes of waste each year. EPA spokeswoman Tanya O'Shea said its pollution hotline had received 55 calls about the foul smell in the past 12 months, with some callers blaming the Boral site but none mentioning Orica. EPA investigators had inspected the Boral site in June and September and the company had taken action to minimise off-site odours including covering odorous material, capping open leachate (waste water) wells and undertaking better managing, monitoring and treating of landfill gas, Ms O'Shea said. The EPA expected Boral to adhere to its licence conditions designed to prevent offensive odour from being discharged beyond its boundary, she said. Penalties of up to $293,000 can apply to licence breaches. Derrimut Labor MP Telmo Languiller said residents believed authorities were not doing enough to get rid of the smell. ''The challenge for the western suburbs - given industry growth and given that the area is increasingly being populated by new residents - is to find a way for residents, industry and business to coexist,'' he said. In a separate case, Australian Tallow Producers pleaded guilty in the Sunshine Magistrates Court last month to two charges relating to offensive odours in August and September last year, as well as a separate charge relating to tallow (an animal-derived fat) inadvertently being discharged into Kororoit Creek. ATP was fined $50,000 plus almost $14,000 in costs and agreed to spend about $1 million upgrading its facilities to meet a Pollution Abatement Notice.


Popular posts from this blog

How to get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Smell

While researching this topic, I asked a relative for some practical advice to rid my house of cigarette smoke. Their answer was immediate and to the point: QUIT SMOKING! Who isn’t tired of hearing that one? The truth is that cigarette smoke permeates into our furniture, our carpets, our walls, our windows, and just about every other nook and cranny in our homes. Us smokers are generally unaware of the smell. The same problem exists in our cars. There are large numbers of people who are allergic to cigarette smoke, or suffer some very serious breathing issues when they come into contact with it. Even the lingering smell of cigarette smoke left in a home or a car by its previous occupants is not just noticeable, but may be close to intolerable to a non-smoker. So if you’re not ready to kick the habit just yet, let’s explore some methods of controlling the cigarette smoke in our environments. Who knows, the next person to bask in your odor may be a hot date or prospective employer and if…

How does a tree neutralise your blog’s carbon footprint?

A question always asked around the net can be answered visiting

How much carbon dioxide does your blog create?

According to a study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, physicist at Harvard University and environmental activist, an average website causes about 0.02g (0,0008oz.) of carbon dioxide for each visit. Assuming an average blog gets 15,000 visits a month, it has yearly carbon dioxide emissions of 3,6kg (8lb.). This can mainly be tracked back to the immense energy usage from (mainframe) computers, servers, and their cooling systems.

Does your blog have more than 15,000 visitors a month? Just e-mail us at We make sure we neutralise your blog too.

How much carbon dioxide does a tree absorb?

Unfortunately, no precise answer is possible. The carbon dioxide absorption of a tree can differ a lot. The amount of carbon dioxide that a tree can absorb depends on the type of tree, light exposure, le…


With increasing Environment Protection Authority (EPA), WorkSafe and council requirements, dust and odours can no longer be managed with a simple garden hose. In providing a solution, ANOTEC has leveraged its more than 20 years of experience across Australia and New Zealand to reduce business costs and help them find best practice equipment for the task. ANOTEC works with landfills and transfer station owners/operators to provide a custom solution to the challenges within the industry. What is it worth to a company to be issued an abatement notice over a site? That’s compared to paying a modest cost for an odour and dust management solution, allowing you to continue working uninterrupted. The technology utilises pumps to generate microscopic air droplets capable of weighing down and suppressing dust and odour. The key to effective dust suppression is creating minute water droplets in the fine micron range that are a similar size to the dust particles the site manager is hoping to…


Show more