Keeping the air clean
Landscape construction activities may affect local air quality and contribute to urban air pollution. The causes are dust, smoke and fumes coming from equipment or activities, and airborne chemicals when spraying for pest management.
Reduce windblown dust
Dust can cause health problems for workers and neighbours.
- Cover materials and stockpiles.
- Fit dust catchers to equipment where appropriate.
- Place sweepings into a bag before placing into a skip, to prevent the dust becoming airborne when the bin is emptied.
- Where excavating into rock, keep the surface wet to minimise dust.
- Put up dust screens around the site.
- Wear facemasks and respirators to protect your health when creating dust.
- Incorporating trees and dense shrubs into a landscape design can help to filter the air and suppress dust after the landscaping work is complete.
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Avoid smoke – don't burn off
- Burning off should be avoided and is restricted in many areas, particularly in and around built-up areas. You would need to contact your local council and the EPA for permission to burn in some areas (for example, in the Sydney area).
- Ideally all green waste should be mulched and composted.
- The burning of tyres and CCA (copper chrome arsenate) or PCP (pentachlorophenol) treated timber is prohibited in all parts of NSW.
- Place all rubbish that cannot be reused, recycled or composted in your waste disposal bin.
Take care with chemicals
- Don't spray in windy conditions as the chemical could drift outside the intended area. This is inefficient and could have undesirable consequences both on and off site
- Be careful when spraying near the boundary of the property so that neighbours are not affected
- Wear facemasks, respirators and protective clothing as recommended by the manufacturer
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- Locate composting material away from neighbours
- Consider downwind impacts when applying compost or manures
- Keep all motors tuned and well maintained to make sure they burn fuel efficiently
- Minimise operating times; don't allow motors to idle unnecessarily
- Look for alternatives. For example, you could ask your supplier about low emission devices, or consider using brooms or rakes instead of leaf blowers
- Your local council
- NSW WorkCover Authority, phone 131 050
Page last updated: 27 February 2011