Cleanaway fined

Waste and recycling operator Cleanaway Pty Ltd has been fined twice by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) for offences at two of its operations.

Cleanaway’s Maffra Street, Coolaroo facility was inspected on 14 April, 2020 using EPA’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) drone.

The inspection revealed that the storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials at the facility had failed to comply with the Environment Protection Act 1970.

In a separate incident, Cleanaway’s Gilbertson Rd, Laverton North facility was also inspected by EPA Officers who found further non-compliance in the storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials.

EPA’s Resource Recovery Facilities Audit Taskforce Manager Steve Pugh said fines should be expected where there is non-compliance.

“The Victorian community, and EPA’s government partner agencies, expect that resource recovery centres maintain appropriate standards to minimise the risk of harm from fire, and our legislation sets out a clear framework for meeting those standards,” said Mr Pugh.

“Cleanaway now faces fines totalling $16,522 for these two new infringements and EPA officers will remain vigilant at their sites.”

“The Taskforce was established following a fire in the SKM recycling plant in Coolaroo in 2017. That major incident showed the importance of proper management of similar facilities and the Taskforce partner agencies have worked hard to reduce the risk of fire, using appropriate regulatory actions where needed.”

The RPAS program allows EPA officers to investigate areas which are difficult to reach on foot or by vehicle, and to detect areas where waste may have been buried illegally. The program has also been shown to be highly effective in supporting EPA to continue its important work during current circumstances.

Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, each recipient of a fine has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notices reviewed or alternatively to have the matter heard and determined by a court.

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

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