Glass Recovery Services prosecuted, convicted and fined $55,000 for pollution offences

Penrith Local Court has convicted Glass Recovery Services Pty Ltd (GRS) of three offences at their Penrith facility, following a successful prosecution by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The Court fined GRS a total of $55,000 after it incorrectly stored glass materials on the premises and failed to comply with the conditions of its Environment Protection Licence (EPL).

The EPA alleged that GRS stored waste comprised of aluminium, dirt, industrial dust and other material outside their premises building despite it being a condition of their EPL to store material of this kind inside. Additionally, the EPA alleged that one of GRS’s stockpiles of finished glass material was significantly larger than permitted under the licence resulting in the potential for air, land and water pollution.

EPA Director Waste Compliance Greg Sheehy said the court proceedings were initiated after GRS was warned by the EPA that they were in breach of their licence. GRS remained in breach when EPA officers again inspected the premises in May 2018.

“EPA officers inspected the Premises and observed waste materials being kept in a non-designated area over a number of weeks. The Dust suppression system was in place but was inadequate for controlling particle emissions.”

“During the same inspection, EPA officers observed that a 7.2 metre tall stockpile of finished glass material was being stored behind two metre high storage bunker walls. Materials were spilling out of the front and side walls of the bunkers creating high potential pollution risk.”

Part of GRS’s overall fine related to the operation of a roller door outside designated operation hours.

“On a separate inspection, our officers witnessed a large roller shutter door in use at a prohibited time. The door is very loud when it opens and machinery was being operated inside at the time creating further noise and potential air pollution.”

The Court found the roller door charge was on the lower end of the sentencing spectrum but the other two charges fell within the upper spectrum of the sentencing scale.

The Court also took in to account that GRS has now put appropriate systems in place to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.