Standards, compliance and planning

How to use the closed landfill self-assessment tool


This page is for local councils who want to conduct closed landfill environmental risk self-assessments in their municipalities.

How do I complete a closed landfill self-assessment? + Expand all Collapse all

  • Step 1: Download the tool

    The closed landfill self-assessment tool is available to download and print out from the EPA website.

  • Step 2: Complete the assessment

    Fill in each section of the tool as you complete the assessment:

    Section 1: Location attributes
    Section 2: Management attributes
    Section 3: Monitoring
    Section 4: Gas, groundwater and surface water risks
    Section 5: Off-site issues and management
    Section 6: Cells, rehabilitation and monitoring

    It is strongly suggested that you take photos throughout each assessment. These will be useful during further assessments and help EPA to provide advice.

    Enter the scores from sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 (section 5 does not have a score) onto the 'Overall site risks' page. Add the scores to get the site's overall assessment score. This overall assessment score can be copied onto page 2 of the tool.

    Complete the questions about site management and waste acceptance.

    Enter any additional comments if necessary. 

  • Step 3: Identify the level of risk

    When you've finished the risk assessment, the site will receive an overall assessment score. Use this to identify the level of risk:

    A score of 37 or more:
    Based on assessment, potentially low risk. Consider when future re-assessment should be undertaken.

    A score of 31 to 36:
    Contact your local EPA office to discuss the future management of the site for the risks identified.

    A score of 30 or less:
    Contact your local EPA office, as an EPA Site Inspection may be recommended.

  • Step 4: Perform risk mitigation activities

    The risk mitigation activities required will vary for each site.

    If an assessment rates a closed landfill in your municipality as medium to high risk, contact us. EPA can help to verify the level of risk. We can also support local councils to plan management strategies for medium to high risk sites.

    There is no obligation to report the results from this tool to EPA. However, providing the data will help us support you with addressing any issues identified during a risk assessment.

  • Need further help?

    You can contact your regional waste and resource recovery group (WRRG) or your local EPA officer/representative if you need help with a landfill assessment or risk mitigation activities. 

    Call EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or email your local EPA office

Q&A on using the closed landfill self-assessment tool + Expand all Collapse all

  • Do I need any experience to use the tool?

    The tool has been designed to be easily used by local government staff with a basic knowledge of waste and landfill management.

  • How long will it take to complete an assessment?

    If you have good knowledge of the closed landfill site, an assessment of an individual site could be done in as little as an hour.

  • Do I have to use this tool when doing a closed landfill risk assessment?

    Using the tool and submitting information to EPA is voluntary. You can choose to engage environmental consultants or use your own risk assessment methods. However, using this tool provides a free and easy way to assess landfills.

  • Do I have to submit the assessment results to EPA?

    There is no obligation to report the results from this tool to EPA. However, providing the data will help EPA to support you with addressing any issues identified during a risk assessment.

    It is strongly suggested that you take photos throughout each assessment, as these will be useful during further assessments and help EPA to provide advice.

  • Does it cost anything to use the tool?

    No, the tool is free.

  • There are questions in the tool that I can't answer. What should I do?

    Answer each question as best as you can. If you can't answer a question or need to provide further information, make a note in the comments section of the tool.

  • What if I can’t find local information on geology?

    There is large scale mapping available that gives basic, useful geology information.

  • What if I can’t find local information on groundwater?

    There is large scale mapping available that gives basic, useful groundwater information, such as depth to groundwater and some general water quality information.

  • Is there a cut-off point for how far back we should go? Most parks were once landfills.

    This is a risk-based tool. There is no specific timeline or cut-off period for risk assessments.

  • The tool rated a closed landfill in our area as medium to high risk. What do we do next?

    If an assessment rates a closed landfill in your municipality as medium to high risk, contact us. EPA can help to verify the level of risk. We can also support local councils to plan management strategies for medium to high risk sites.

    It's important to start planning a management strategy for sites you believe pose an immediate risk.

  • We need to undertake risk mitigation activities. Who will pay for these?

    Councils have an obligation to manage the environmental risks from closed landfills. It is recommended that you plan for taking appropriate actions to mitigate those risks.

  • I have questions. Who can I contact to get help?

    You can contact your regional waste and resource recovery group (WRRG) or your local EPA officer/representative if you need help with a landfill assessment or risk mitigation activities. 

    Call EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or email your local EPA office.

Page last updated on 7 Feb 2018