What Is Recycled Clean Fill Sand?

What Is Recycled Clean Fill Sand?

What Is Recycled Clean Fill Sand?


You may have seen signs put up along roads and structures before that read “Clean Fill Wanted,” and wondered what it meant.


According to Australia’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA), there are four different types of solid industrial waste and soils: fill material, solid inert waste, industrial waste, and putrescible waste. These waste types are required by law to be managed properly, as set out by the Environment Protection Act 1970.


To answer the question “What is recycled clean fill sand?” it is necessary to focus on the first waste type mentioned above, which is fill material.


The basics

Fill material is made up of soil (clay, silt and/or sand), rock and gravel of naturally occurring materials. In industry terms, fill material or clean fill is used in building sites for filling and levelling. Its use, however, should only be allowed after a proper assessment of the fill’s contaminant levels and its intended use.


Soil can be classified as fill if it meets the following requirements:


1. An assessment is conducted to determine that the material has not been potentially contaminated because of: commercial, industrial, agricultural or construction activities; exposure to manufactured chemicals; or placement of the material in a contaminated or mechanically disturbed site.


2. Contaminant levels fall below those specified in the EPA Industrial Waste Resource Guidelines’ Soil hazard categorisation and management.


3. Any elevated levels of metals (e.g., arsenic) can be demonstrated to be of natural origin.


The use of fill material is not regulated by the EPA, but the Environment Protection Act 1970 does ascribe general obligations that prevent any adverse impacts on human health and the environment. In the event of adverse impacts, the EPA can require information such as the fill material’s origin, the history of the site, sampling and analysis of contaminants, the nature of the elevated contaminants, and the location where the material is intended to be reused.


For landholders and homeowners, it is important to be vigilant about the use of recycled fill material to prevent it from harming their family and property. It’s best to observe these measures:


  • Check if filling is permitted and if there are required council approvals.
  • Check the credentials of the individual or organisation offering the material.
  • Avoid accepting fill from unknown sources.
  • Ask suppliers for proof that the material is not contaminated.
  • Inspect and supervise any incoming fill loads.
  • Record all details of material being brought to the property.
  • Keep copies of all pertinent records and documents.