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Bio-recycle given highest waste penalty

Recycling company, Bio-recycle Australia Pty Ltd, has been fined $300,000 for receiving and disposing of more waste than it was authorised to over a three-year period.

This is one of the highest penalties for a waste-related offence in Queensland’s history and according to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) it sends a strong signal to anyone thinking about conducting illegal waste activities or avoiding the waste levy.

The Ipswich-based company holds an environmental authority (EA) for its construction and demolition landfill in Swanbank. The EA is for waste disposal of more than 100,000 tonnes but less than 200,000 tonnes per year.

Between 2017 and 2019, Bio-recycle exceeded its limit and unlawfully disposed of 326,137 tonnes of additional waste.

DES said in a statement that, “It is important that waste activities are appropriately licensed and managed in a way that minimises impacts to Queensland’s beautiful environment. All operators who carry out environmentally relevant activities must meet their environmental obligations, including that they hold the appropriate approvals and comply with the legislation.”

Bio-recycle was also ordered to pay $2,500 in legal costs and $1,984.20 in investigation costs. The penalty was determined by the court taking into account a range of circumstances.

“As Queensland’s environmental regulator, we take strong enforcement action, including prosecution, against individuals and companies that do the wrong thing and harm our environment,” DES stated.