Offensive odour costs Sydney recycler $8K

EPA

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined a Revesby company $8,000 for allegedly causing offensive odours.

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Pty Ltd undertakes waste processing and storage of hazardous and other waste at their Violet Street premises in Revesby.

The EPA received numerous complaints about a foul, “rubbish like and rotting meat like” smell from neighbouring businesses over five months in 2020.

The EPA conducted a number of odour investigations and on 9 December 2020 detected strong offensive odours beyond the boundary of the premises. The EPA also obtained statements from surrounding businesses who alleged they were impacted by these foul odours.

SUEZ took steps to control the odours when notified by the EPA, however the changes made to their processes were not effective.

EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Steve Beaman said while SUEZ engaged a consultant to undertake an Odour Impact and Management Study, their overall response was disappointing.

“Foul and offensive odours can interfere unreasonably with the comfort of the community. It is important that waste and recycling operators do not emit offensive odours,” Mr Beaman said.

“The $8,000 penalty handed to SUEZ reflects the demonstrated ineffectiveness in dealing with the offensive odours they were generating.”

The EPA has given SUEZ until 31 March 2021 to complete a Pollution Reduction Program to mitigate odours from its premises and will continue to monitor the company to help prevent similar incidents.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. In this instance the EPA issued a penalty notice. The notice recipient may pay the penalty notice, seek a review, or elect to have the matter determined by a court.

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