Central Waste Plant Pty Ltd has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to pay $111,000 towards conservation and clean-up programs after it received more than double the amount of waste allowed, through its Kurri Kurri facility.
EPA Acting Director Regulatory Operations David Gathercole said the maximum amount of waste permitted to be received by Central Waste Plant under its Environment Protection Licence was 35,000 tonnes over a 12 month period.
“The company received over 96,000 tonnes of waste for recycling in the year leading up to March 2020,” Mr Gathercole said.
Mr Gathercole noted this was the third consecutive year this condition was allegedly breached and hoped the large penalty would serve as a strong warning for waste and recycling companies to deal with waste lawfully.
“It is important to manage waste correctly, to set an example and to protect our environment.”
As part of the undertaking, Central Waste Plant has committed to the clean-up and remediation of illegally dumped waste in the Tomalpin Woodlands, including identifying and disposing of asbestos. The works will cost an estimated $93,500.
The company must also pay $18,000 to fund the project “Protecting Cessnock Forests and Woodlands” to support and enhance the conservation of the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater.
The Regent Honeyeater is a flagship threatened woodland bird whose conservation will benefit a large suite of other threatened and declining woodland fauna.
Central Waste Plant will pay the EPA’s legal and investigation costs of approximately $15,000.
Enforceable Undertakings are a tool that the EPA can use as an alternative to prosecution. Through an enforceable undertaking, the EPA may secure outcomes such as environmental restoration measures or contributions to environmental projects. The undertaking is enforceable by the Land and Environment Court.