Waste firm with plans for Alice builds giant air dome


The company preparing to create a toxic waste deposit near Titjikala south of Alice Springs, Tellus Holdings Ltd, has built one of the world’s largest air dome structures at their Sandy Ridge facility in the gold fields region of Western Australia.


The company says this is part of developing the first commercial geological repository for hazardous waste in Australia.


The industrial air dome structure is a mammoth 180 metres long, 90 metres wide and 28 metres at its highest point covering 16,200 metres squared – the equivalent to two soccer fields in area and eight stories in height.


Says Tellus CEO Duncan van der Merwe in a media release: “It is a world first collaboration involving international and domestic experts under the project team of Arizon Building Systems and Perth-based GR Engineering Services, an engineered barrier that protects the environment and human health, and allows for all-year, all-weather waste management services.


“The air dome is incremental in the development of a world-class commercial geological repository for hazardous waste, that will provide an innovative infrastructure solution unsurpassed in the storage of hazardous waste in Australia today.”


The permanent isolation system for hazardous waste in Sandy Ridge, Western Australia, will be the first commercial scale repository in Australia.


Key features include a relocatable anchor foundation system, air handling units, vehicle air interlock, wind sensors, digital command controllers, full bias cable system and heavy-duty membrane and air quality and ventilation monitoring.


Costing about 30% of the equivalent conventional building solution the dome was built in 60 days and took three hours to inflate – the first of its type commissioned in the Southern Hemisphere.




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Erwin Chlanda, Editor

2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. TropicalSauce
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:56 am

    @ Surprised: Tellus is about 11 years in the making and has jumped through a vast amount of regulatory hoops, both State and Federal. It is best in class globally with regards to its operating systems and safety.
    Tellus have broad and varying waste acceptance licences (hazardous and/or exempt / low-level radioactive waste) to handle a variety of waste types.

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  2. Surprised!
    Posted April 19, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Great article Erwin.
    The last half from the CEO sounds like an extract from the prospectus though.
    The 30% is only dollars, what the risk to the environment and people?
    What “toxic” material will it house?

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