Dust complaints on Watson Rd
A WATSON Rd resident at Acacia Ridge claims dust from trucks rat-running through the suburban street is so bad that he is "constantly" wiping it off his kitchen bench.
Aaron Marsh has joined a chorus of complaints from residents, while Brisbane City Councillor Steve Griffiths has asked the council to ban trucks from using Watson Rd.
"You expect a little bit, living on a main road, but not this," Mr Marsh said.
"The outside of the house has the be washed regularly. I wash our cars, the next day they are covered in dust again.''
Cr Griffiths said excessive dust was being carried by up to 700 trucks on Watson Rd daily, many from BMI Group's Watson Rd resource recovery site.
"Dust is a problem,'' he said.
But BMI said it was working to reduce dust caused by its trucks.
Transport and Main Roads said companies not covering loads faced fines up to $10,000.
"Vehicles designed for carrying loose bulk material must be fitted with a cover, or the load must be wetted, skinned or otherwise contained," a spokesman said."
"Loading of vehicles is enforced by TMR and Queensland Police.''
Mr Marsh also said dust was being carried out of BMI Group's Watson Rd resource recovery site - the destination of about half the trucks.
"Trucks are carrying sediments back on to the road,'' Mr Marsh said.
However, BMI Group general manager Mark Dekker said the company took steps to reduce dust because "we are very aware of our position within our community and we treat the mitigation of impacts on our neighbours as a top priority".
"We are subject to dust management conditions in our EHP licence and undertake monitoring for dust deposition both on our site and at sensitive locations within the community," he said.
"We have water trucks which are staffed full time and apply some 400,000 litres to site roads per day and fill up tanks for sprinkler systems on our recycling plants.
"We have installed a wheel wash to minimise the chance of dust tracked out on to the roads and own our street sweeper truck (operated full time) to ensure that any dirt tracked on to the road is cleaned up ASAP.
"Both our recycling plants have sprinklers placed on all areas likely to produce dust.
"We have engaged leading dust control company Coolfog to beef up our existing system on one of our plants, which should be commissioned in the coming week.
"We have installed a commercial weather station on site to closely monitor wind direction and wind speeds.''
The council's infrastructure chairwoman, Amanda Cooper, said last month the council was "currently undertaking a detailed survey and traffic modelling to understand the implications on business and industry if heavy truck access to Watson Rd was to be further reduced or removed''.
Cr Cooper said the council had introduced a ban on heavy vehicles weighing 4.5 tonne or more on Watson Rd between 8pm and 6am from late 2015.
However Cr Griffiths said they needed to be banned during the day as well.
Mr Dekker said the company had also gone to great lengths to protect the Watson Road State School community, which adjoins the business, from exposure to excess dust. "We have within the last 12 months installed a real-time dust monitor at the school," he said. "This monitor provides alerts (by way of text message) to operational staff should site dust reach a pre-set level. Staff will then cease activity until a conditions allow operations to continue."
He said the business had a longstanding relationship with the school, including:
■ installation of airconditioning units to some classrooms
■ systematic servicing of all airconditioning systems
■ donation to the breakfast program for the students
■ funding the principal's attendance rewards program, which saw BMI Group fund 50 scooters and helmets and one bike for the student with the highest attendance