Cleanaway is proposing to provide sustainable solution to support the completion of the West Gate Tunnel Project – a major road improvement project for Melbourne.

Our Proposal

Cleanaway is proposing to construct a Soil Management and Reuse Facility (the SMRF), adjacent to our Melbourne Regional Landfill in Ravenhall, to manage the disposal and reuse of tunnel spoil (soil and rock) from the West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP).

Tunnelling works for the construction of the tunnels will commence when a solution for managing the tunnel spoil is in place. Cleanaway is awaiting the outcome of the Tender process.

Our proposal provides a sustainable solution for the tunnel spoil to be safely disposed and reuse is optimised.

Our video explains our end-to-end solution for managing the tunnel spoil using guided animation.

Community Information

Cleanaway wants to engage with the local community on the proposal facility and we are committed to keeping you informed. We encourage your questions about our proposal and invite you to view our range of information collateral using the links provided below.

Q&A sheet

Q&A sheets provides detailed information about our proposal: location, approvals, facility design and infrastructure and environmental management safeguards.

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Fact sheet

Fact sheet provides a summary of key information.

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Community Brochure

Our Community Brochure provides an overview of the project using animated visuals

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For further information about our proposal, or to register to attend a Community Information Webinar, please contact our Stakeholder & Community Engagement Manager – Olga Ghiri on 0478 316 237 or

Community Information Webinars

Cleanaway hosted Information webinars for the local community in August 2020 to provide an overview of our proposal and for residents to ask questions.

If Cleanaway is awarded the Tender, we will host additional sessions for the community.  You can register your interest here.

What is the West Gate Tunnel Project

The West Gate Tunnel Project is a major road project that requires tunnelling and construction of an elevated motorway connecting the West Gate Freeway, west of West Gate Bridge, with the Port of Melbourne, CityLink and the central business district(CBD) of Melbourne.

Construction is managed by CPB Constractors and John Holland Joint Venture (CPBJH JV). Initial testing suggests levels of PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) may be present in the tunnel spoil when tunnelling begins. PFAS contaminants can be safely handled using EPA guidelines, and are commonly found in soil unearthed during construction works at industrial and commercial sites.

The potential for low levels of PFAS in the tunnel spoil will see a rigorous testing regime implemented at an EPA licenced facility prior to its reuse or disposal.

Facts about PFAS

PFAS are chemicals that are resistant to grease, oil, water and heat and are commonly used in a wide range of consumer products including: water resistant fabrics, cleaning products, paints, non-stick cookware and or food packaging.

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are chemicals that are resistant to grease, oil, water and heat.
  • PFAS contaminated soil can be safely handled under guidelines provided by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
  • Low levels of PFAS in soil are not harmful to the public, during soil removal, relocation or disposal.
  • PFAS is found in a wide range of products used by consumers every day such as water resistant fabrics, cleaning products, paints, non-stick cookware, food packaging and fire-fighting foams.

As with all types of waste, it needs safe handling to determine options for disposal and reuse. The SMRF is designed to ensure that the tunnel spoil is contained and managed in a safe environment while classification occurs.

The diagram below shows the management process, commencing with sampling at the source, transportation, and management of the tunnel spoil at the SMRF, its reuse and disposal.

All materials will be transported by the West Gate Tunnel Project contractors in accordance with all necessary regulatory permits. The EPA will issue specific classifications that will determine how the spoil material is to be managed. Those classifications will determine the ultimate reuse or disposal option for the material.

  • Tunnel spoil classified as Prescribed Industrial Waste will be transported off site and disposed at an approved EPA-licensed facility.
  • Tunnel spoil classified as Fill Material and Non-Prescribed Industrial Waste can be reused at the SMRF and Cleanaway’s Melbourne Regional Landfill, as permitted in existing licence.

Samples of the tunnel spoil will be collected by an independent third party. The samples will be sent to a NATA accredited laboratory for analyses in accordance with EPA waste classifications.

Planning process

Our application for Planning Scheme Amendment (Special Conditions Overlay) was approved by the Minister for Planning under s20(4) of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 (Vic).

The EPA approved our Environmental Management Plan on 14 May 2021. Detailed technical and environmental assessments have been undertaken to ensure our proposal is robust and provides a safe solution for the management and reuse of the tunnel spoil.

Read more about the environmental management, including ground water and surface water management here.