Complex hazardous waste has a new response: Tellus receives final approval from WA Government to permanently isolate waste at its Sandy Ridge hazardous waste facility

  • On : March 24, 2021
  • Tellus’ hazardous waste facility at Sandy Ridge (‘Sandy Ridge’) can now fully accept, store, treat and dispose of nearly all forms of hazardous wastes
  • Critical long-term infrastructure that will help enable COVID-19 economic recovery
  • Provides Australia access to the same world-class hazardous waste solutions commonly utilised in North America and Europe
  • Drives better ESG and economic outcomes for waste clients and future generations

Tellus Holdings Ltd (‘Tellus’) is pleased to announce that its Sandy Ridge facility in Western Australia, the only commercial near-surface geological repository in the country, has received approval from the Western Australia (‘WA’) government to fully operate a commercial Class V hazardous waste facility.

After a decade-long journey, this means that Tellus can now permanently isolate hazardous waste in-cell and begin driving its mission of cleaning up hazardous waste across Australia.

The milestone approval was obtained on Friday 19th March 2021 and triggered by the WA Government granting an amended operating licence to authorise waste treatment on site and in-cell placement of intractable waste. This approval enables Sandy Ridge to accept, store, treat and dispose of hazardous and intractable wastes and utilise the complete suite of infrastructure on site.

Tellus CEO Nate Smith said: “Our country now has an economically viable and environmentally sustainable domestic solution for intractable wastes, meaning that hazardous wastes previously exported can now be treated and disposed of in Australia as part of our best practice circular economy obligations. This will deliver a significantly lower carbon footprint than offshore forms of disposal.”

The final approval enables Tellus to rapidly accelerate its Sandy Ridge operations creating additional jobs in Western Australia spanning multiple industry sectors while delivering improved sustainability across the state, the rest of the continent and Australia’s exclusive economic zone.

Sandy Ridge is licensed to receive nearly all types of hazardous waste types, including waste from a broad spectrum of industrial sectors, including mining, oil and gas, contaminated site remediation and utilities. Sandy Ridge does not accept international waste, nuclear waste, or waste streams falling under intermediate (ILW) or high-level (HLW) radioactive waste designations.

Nate Smith continued: “The privately owned Sandy Ridge facility is the first of its kind in the country and represents critical infrastructure for Australia. Not only will it solve legacy, existing production and emerging waste stream problems in the goldfields region, WA and across Australia but it also will help catalyse COVID-19 economic recovery by enabling the launch of the multitude of new infrastructure, industrial and mining projects that naturally produce hazardous waste as a by-product.”

“It has been a long, thorough journey for us to reach this point. Our team is extremely proud to launch an offering that will ensure Australia has access to the same world-class solutions commonly utilised in North America and Europe. Sandy Ridge will help protect current and future Australian communities and the environment from hazardous waste.”

“This milestone would not have been possible without the constructive and active engagement of all our stakeholders – especially State, Commonwealth and local government and regulatory authorities. Collectively, they have helped drive better outcomes for our clients and communities by ensuring the highest standards of health, safety and environmental stewardship. We look forward to continuing to work closely with them on the next stage of our journey.”

Tellus’ Sandy Ridge Facility is an example of a leading infrastructure development that meets and supports the WA Government’s waste legislation, regulations, policies, business plans and strategies with the objective of protecting the environment by managing waste responsibly. Sandy Ridge will contribute towards meeting the “recover” and “protect” targets within the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recover Strategy 2030 and associated Action Plan 2020-21. The operation of the Sandy Ridge Facility will help address the 2030 target which states, “all waste is managed and/or disposed to better practice facilities”.

The license approval granted by the WA Government can be found at

News of this approval follows the announcement last week by Tellus that it has entered into a strategic alliance with the global leader in hazardous waste packaging, PacTec, Inc. See more at

Media contact:
Justin Kirkwood
+61 411 251 324

About Tellus Holdings Ltd:

Tellus is an innovative Australian environmental services group in the business of partnering with our clients to find a permanent disposal solution for hazardous waste and removing it safely and responsibly from our society and environment to a world class, remote near-surface geological repository. We also have the opportunity to reinvest in our communities through the circular economy and recycling technologies. Our first geological repository called Sandy Ridge, based northwest of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, is now fully open for business. It is licensed to accept a broad range of hazardous waste up to 100,000 tonnes per annum for the next 25 years. Unlike a traditional waste landfill that relies on a liner, Sandy Ridge relies on a multi-barrier, natural safety case, underpinned by unique geology. Our safety case is so strong that we can permanently dispose of Class IV and Class V waste for our clients, and in turn, they have the opportunity to remove contingent liability for clean-up off their balance sheet and optimise the value of their sites, once de-contaminated. Other sites around Australia are also being considered for development by Tellus, including New South Wales in the Broken Hill region, and the Northern Territory.

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