Bushfire waste disposal

In the event of a bushfire, landowners and authorities may be required to dispose of perished stock or large quantities of building rubble. The proper disposal of bushfire waste is an important health and environmental consideration.

Dead stock and animals

The EPA understands it’s a difficult time for farming families affected by the fires and is offering advice intended to minimise the burden and help to protect their farms from additional after effects of the fires.


Where stock can’t be moved to landfill, they should be buried at the site in accordance with EPA's Farm Waste Management guideline (publication IWRG641).


When disposing of numbers of dead stock on the farm, there are important safeguards the land owner will need to consider to protect your ground and surface water sources from contamination, and yourself and your neighbours from odour and possible health hazards.


For more advice on the removal of dead stock visit www.epa.vic.gov.au and search on ‘Farm Waste Management’, or access Agriculture Victoria’s detailed advice at this address: 


Disposing of spoilt milk

The EPA also reminds farmers that there’s a variety of effective ways to dispose of spoilt milk on the farm, after power outages in bushfire affected areas.


While small volumes of milk can be discharged direct to effluent ponds, it is not the preferred disposal option as it can lead to future odour problems.


On-farm disposal via irrigation, trenching or disposal on non-productive areas of land are all possible, provided there are no off-site impacts.  The best option needs to be considered for each site using the guidance available from EPA and Agriculture Victoria.


For more advice on disposal of spoilt milk, land owners can visit. http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/dairy/managing-effluent/emergency-disposal-of-milk


Land owners with any questions are encouraged to call EPA’s 24 hour contact line, on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

Building rubble

Building rubble from bushfires mainly consists of a mixture of brick, concrete, asphalt and timber. This waste should be disposed of to a landfill licensed to receive solid inert waste. Building rubble should not be deposited to land, such as farms or gullies, without approval from EPA.


Further information on disposing of waste after a fire, land owners can visit https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/emergency-information


Contact EPA on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 872 842) if this needs to occur.

Page last updated on 15 Jan 2020