EPA fines Dandenong recycling facility

Australian Waste Recyclers Pty Ltd (AWR) have been fined, put on notice by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and will face regular inspections after they were unable to produce a fire risk assessment or emergency management plan that adequately assessed and controlled the risks posed by stockpiles of combustible recyclable wastes at their facility.

EPA officers inspected the Berends Drive, Dandenong South facility in July this year and found a 25 metre long, 18 metre wide and two metre high pile of mixed and unsorted domestic and construction and demolition waste including timber, plastics, green waste, metal, soil, plasterboard, polystyrene, and bricks.

The officers were told by the AWR site representative that they did not have fire risk management or emergency management plans (EMP). EPA issued two remedial notices requiring AWR to develop the plans but what was produced did not meet the necessary standard to adequately identify and control risks at the site.

“It was only after further instruction that the EMP was bought up to standard and the fire risk management plan was still deficient despite the advice we gave,” said EPA Southern Metropolitan Regional Manager Jessica Bandiera.

“Given that failure, despite the opportunity provided to properly address the risk, EPA has now fined AWR $8,261 and will remain heavily involved with a frequent presence to ensure they not only improve their management practices but also their handling of the combustible recyclable wastes they are processing.

“Victoria has seen enough harm done to its environment by poor attitudes of some in the recycling industry and EPA and its new Waste Crime Prevention Directorate will take action wherever it can to improve it.”

“The public are the best eyes and ears against pollution. If you see or suspect pollution or waste management issues call EPA on 1300 EPA VIC.”

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