Features, Hazardous waste, Legislation, Melbourne, Victoria

Pakenham recycler fined more than $17,000

Burning waste, litter, dust, sediment and a breach of registration conditions has cost Pakenham-based Metal Men Recycling more than $17,000.

The five fines come after EPA Victoria provided compliance advice, then stepped up to issuing regulatory notices that ordered the company to bring its Drovers Place premises into compliance.

EPA Southern Metropolitan Melbourne Regional Manager, Viranga Abeywickrema, said the site came to EPA’s attention during a routine fire prevention inspection a year ago.

“EPA’s hundreds of proactive fire prevention inspections have been designed to find issues like oversized or badly placed stockpiles and inadequate fire protection equipment, before they can aggravate an industrial fire,” Abeywickrema said.

“In this case, our officers found the premises had problems with litter, mud and burning waste, as well as administrative breaches. EPA officers first provided advice, then stepped up to formal notices ordering the company to make its premises comply, before issuing fines,” he said.

Read more: Snowy contactor fined over water pollution

“EPA set clear obligations for the company in its Registration to prevent harm occurring and avoid the fines, but the company failed to act appropriately, and the community and environment must be protected.”

The fines are for instances that include:

  • A stockpile of waste foam that caught fire during oxy cutting.
  • Dust escaping from the premises onto Drovers Place.
  • Waste plastic, paper, cardboard and fabric blown or falling from vehicles along Drovers Place and Ridge Place.
  • Sediment dropped onto Ridge Place, from vehicles leaving the premises.
  • Breaches of the requirements of the premises’ EPA Registration.

The fine for breaches of the registration will cost Metal Men Recycling $9,615; the other four fines will cost $1,923 each.

“EPA will monitor this premises in the coming weeks and months to ensure compliance with the Environment Protection Act,” Abeywickrema said. 

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