COUNCIL will next week begin closing the Eaglehawk landfill early to ensure it can carry out works to comply with regulations regarding dust pollution and odour in the area.

Council is required to cap the tip face at the site with 300 millimetres of fill at the end of each day, and faces hefty fines from the Environment Protection Authority if it does not do so.

With its current operating hours until 4.30pm each weekday, it has in some cases had to pay staff overtime rates to stay longer to carry out the works.

As of Monday, February 12, the landfill will close at 4pm each day to allow the works to take place.

The adjusted operating hours will only be in place on weekdays, weekend hours will remain at 8am until 4.30pm.

Council’s Brooke Pearce said data shows that on average five customers per day would use the landfill between after 4pm.

She said the change is only expected to be temporary, with the early finish carrying through until October at which point council is confident it will have the issue under control.

“With customers coming until 4.30pm we didn’t have time to meet those requirements set down by the EPA and we were having to pay overtime, which of course comes back to the ratepayer,” she said.

“By October we hope to have efficiencies in place and maybe a different way of managing it so we can return to our normal operating hours and still meet those requirements.

“The EPA give us feedback if they feel we aren’t meeting requirements. There was nothing alarming, but we didn’t want to get to the point where there may have been a breach because that involves a considerable fine.”

Ms Pearce said that council would also speak to the contractor that carries out the work to make sure the requirements are met.