The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Hi-Quality Waste Management Pty Ltd a total of $32,500 and issued an Official Caution for multiple incidents at their Minda landfill which included a failure to apply appropriate cover to waste onsite, the alleged unlawful disposal of waste tyres and not paying waste levies.
EPA Manager Regional Waste Compliance Cate Woods said Hi-Quality received a collection of fines reflective of the severity of their breaches.
“This landfill is in a sensitive environment where the potential for harm is a serious risk. It is disappointing that Hi-Quality appeared not to be taking their environmental obligations seriously across a range of issues,” Ms Woods said.
EPA Officers inspected the Minda landfill in Windellama near Goulburn in October 2016 as part of a routine compliance operation. During the inspection, officers found that waste onsite was not being covered properly as required by the company’s environment protection licence, putting the surrounding environment at an elevated risk and hampering effective management of the landfill, attracting a $15,000 penalty.
The inspection also revealed that Hi-Quality had disposed of more than 1200 waste tyres outside of the approved landfill cell. The company failed to report the receipt of the tyres and did not pay waste levy contributions for these tyres. Hi-Quality has been fined $8,000 and ordered to appropriately dispose of the tyres.
Officers also found that Hi-Quality had failed to properly record and report the receipt of 670 tonnes of wood waste that was stockpiled on site. The EPA has fined Hi-Quality a further $9,500 and ordered it to remove the stockpiled wood waste from site.
“The EPA enforces conditions of environment protection licences to ensure the environment is protected, so when these conditions are breached you can be sure we will be following it up with the company,” Ms Woods said.
Compliance with licence conditions and other legislative requirements is not a choice. If Hi-Quality, or any other waste facility operator, wants to operate in this industry, they must show that they can and will operate in a way that meets our standards and reduces risks to the environment.
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. For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.