Blaxland Tip: Mayor asks EPA asked to investigate odour

Ten months on from flooding rains in February, the "appalling stench" continues at Blaxland Tip.

And now the mayor has made the extraordinary decision to ask the Environment Protection Authority to investigate.

Calling in the big guns: Ward 4 councillors Brendan Christie and Mark Greenhill want the odour at Blaxland Tip to be resolved urgently and have appealed for the Environment Protection Authority to investigate.

Calling in the big guns: Ward 4 councillors Brendan Christie and Mark Greenhill want the odour at Blaxland Tip to be resolved urgently and have appealed for the Environment Protection Authority to investigate.

In his mayoral urgency matter on Tuesday evening, Mayor Mark Greenhill said the odour at the tip needs to be resolved urgently with the state environmental regulator's help. The issue was supported by his fellow Ward 4 councillor Brendan Christie.

"It cannot wait any longer, residents' patience have worn thin," Cr Greenhill said. Both councillors had been inundated with calls for help on the matter.

Council heard it is especially a problem in Warrimoo - the northern end of the tip. But earlier this year the council was told the smell could be detected from as far away as Glenbrook. The mayor wants to know the source of the odour and the actions needed to help the staff fix it.

In 2005 Mayor Greenhill said council had resolved not to operate the tip too close to homes.

"Blaxland and Warrimoo take all the landfill for the whole of the Mountains," he said. Closing down the tip would lead to a rates increase, he added.

Warrimoo resident Dr Jess Siegle is one of many who have had enough.

"For two years it's been just constant."

"It's nice we are finally being listened to, I am on the phone giving EPA constant reports, that's the only way to get it on paper. I'm really glad Mark's made this move, it's not easy for him, but something's got to change."

Dr Siegle said when her family "moved in [to Spurwood Road] four years ago there was excessive rain - and it didn't smell".

She has had visits from the EPA, but unfortunately not on the "potent" days.

"Some days it is so putrid you have to close the windows. It's not green waste or rain, it's just a putrid smell of garbage."

She's part of a community group meeting next week with tip management about future cells [areas of landfill] at the tip.

Dr Siegle said they would also be raising concerns about changes to the reuse shed. The shed had been where the community was able to pick up old scrap metal and timber to reduce landfill. She said despite numerous extra council pick-ups during COVID, materials in and outside the shed had significantly reduced.

Mayor Greenhill said the EPA report would be made public. The matter was carried unanimously.

Later this week Mayor Greenhill told the Gazette the EPA was contacted the day after the council meeting and "we anticipate their engagement with us very quickly."

An Environment Protection Authority spokesperson said "the EPA has met with Blue Mountains City Council and will support them investigating and addressing odour concerns from Blaxland landfill".