Central Coast recycling company fined $15,000 for environmental breach

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined recycling company IQ Renew $15,000 and issued official cautions to its five directors, for allegedly exceeding waste limits at its Somersby facility on the Central Coast.

IQ Renew operates plants at Somersby and Wyong, processing kerbside (yellow bin) recyclable waste.

EPA Acting Executive Director Regulatory Operations Adam Gilligan said the EPA took action after IQ Renew allegedly breached their Environment Protection Licence by exceeding the 65,000 tonnes permitted waste limit over a 12 month period.

“The potential for pollution to occur increases with poor management of the amount of waste being received at a premises, in conjunction with poor practices.

“IQ Renew has a poor compliance history and inspections by the EPA in the past 12 months have identified poor environmental management and the potential for pollution to occur,” Mr Gilligan said.

The EPA has issued official cautions to the five directors of IQ Renew for failing to prevent the offence after the EPA wrote to IQ Renew in February and August to warn them they may potentially contravene their licence. IQ Renew and its directors failed to act to prevent the offence from occurring and continuing.

“Directors must act responsibly and exercise all due diligence to ensure the company does not commit offences,” Mr Gilligan said.

The EPA fined IQ Renew $48,000 in February this year for alleged offences at its Pile Road, Somersby and Lucca Road, Wyong sites, and a site it occupied in Wisemans Ferry Road, Somersby.

“The EPA has also taken action against IQ Renew or its subsidiaries for a range of environmental breaches over the past seven years.

“We will continue to monitor the performance of IQ Renew to ensure they improve their environmental compliance,” Mr Gilligan said.

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. In this instance the EPA issued a penalty notice. The notice recipient may pay the penalty notice, seek a review, or elect to have the matter determined by a court.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm