A serial waste criminal will be forced to pay more than $450,000 after failing to clean-up thousands of tonnes of asbestos waste delivered to properties in Sydney’s north west and the Illawarra.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) prosecuted Christopher Binos in Parramatta and Wollongong Local Courts over the two separate incidents.
In January 2019, an elderly resident of Croom, near Shellharbour, responded to an online ad from Mr Binos who offered to deliver fill and work to pave his driveway – all for free. Over the next month, approximately fifty trucks deposited what is estimated to be more than 1,000 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated soil and building rubble on and alongside the driveway, which is close to a waterway.
In September of the same year, Mr Binos again offered to deliver free fill – this time to a property which includes a home and veterinary clinic in the north-west Sydney suburb of Vineyard. The owner wanted to level a rear paddock and create a horse arena. It is estimated that 2,400 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated fill was dumped on the property.
The EPA issued notices requiring Mr Binos to clean-up the waste. He failed to comply with these notices.
In the meantime, the owners of the Vineyard property have already spent more than $60,000 on remediation works to remove the asbestos.
EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Stephen Beaman said the fines totalling more than $450,000 send a strong message to the community that offending of this nature would not be tolerated.
“It’s devastating to see someone attempt to place their financial gain ahead of the wellbeing of the community and the environment,” Mr Beaman said.
“The Court found that Mr Binos acted deliberately – he knew the fill contained asbestos. The Vineyard offence in particular involved a significant degree of planning. That is completely unacceptable behaviour and it demonstrates why the EPA must continue to protect the community from waste criminals.”
“It’s also a timely reminder that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Free fill may come at no price, but it can have a hefty cost if it is contaminated.”
There are simple steps you can take to ensure you don’t get caught in a scam: check with your local council before accepting fill, use a reputable supplier, ask where the fill has come from, record delivery details, and look out for odd materials in the load.