What it contains

This publication summarises the findings of the report Air emissions from non-hazardous waste landfills – update of 2013 literature review, which included air monitoring data from Hallam Road landfill in 2017.

The aim of this work was to provide the community with information on potential links between air emissions from non-hazardous landfills and potential health effects on local communities.

A review of international literature and air monitoring data does not show that living near a non-hazardous landfill is associated with adverse health effects for residents.


The report focused on information related to non hazardous landfills (Category C landfills). Most landfills in Victoria, including the site in Hallam
, are Category C landfills.

The report considered:

  • RMIT’s literature review in 2013
  • a review of international health studies published from 2013 to 2016
  • data on gases and volatile organic compounds  (VOCs) from the literature reviews and the Hallam Road landfill sampling in 2017.

Air data from the review

The review looked at air emissions data collected from landfills around the world. The focus was on data collected on landfill boundaries or offsite at nearby community areas. The review identified which landfill gases were in the air near landfills. 

Hallam Road landfill air monitoring

In addition to the review of air quality data, EPA monitored the air for landfill gases at a variety of locations at and around Hallam Road landfill, including ambient air monitoring in nearby communities.

Monitoring focused on six major groups of chemicals, which were measured against acute (short-term) effect guidelines:

  • ketones
  • alcohols
  • aromatic hydrocarbons
  • aliphatic hydrocarbons
  • chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • esters.

Some of these chemicals are the same as those identified in the international review.

All of EPA’s monitoring results from Hallam Road landfill were below the odour or acute health effects exposure guidelines. This indicates that landfill gases would not have caused short-term health effects in residents living nearby at the time.

Report conclusions

The detailed review of the data and literature did not show that adverse health effects were associated with living near a non-hazardous landfill.

However, the report highlighted that the absence of adverse health effects does not mean that the community is not affected by landfill odours.

It was noted that some gases and volatile compounds released from landfills can be odorous even at low concentrations and may affect the wellbeing of the local community.

Publication number
Number of pages
Release date
26 May 2020

Reviewed 10 November 2023