More than 500K in fines for mass illegal storage of tyres

A local Albury business which processes and recycles rubber tyres has been fined for illegally storing over 28,000 tyres and putting the environment at risk.

Carbon MF Pty Ltd and its director, Mr Mark Fair, were fined $582,375 by the Land and Environment Court for land pollution and for failing to comply with an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) clean-up notice to remove the tyres which were stored on the premises, near Albury Airport.

Carbon MFs business model was to take payment for accepting the waste tyres and to then stockpile them with the intention of shredding them and on-selling.

Executive Director of Operations Jason Gordon said stockpiled tyres were a potential fire hazard and strict conditions applied to their storage to keep the community safe.

“If these tyres had caught alight, it could have resulted in a serious incident with toxic smoke potentially impacting nearby residents and impeding air traffic at the nearby airport,” Mr Gordon said.

“Carbon MF not only failed to comply with the EPA’s clean-up notice but also received a delivery of a further 5,000 tyres after the notice was served.

“The company must take its responsibility to the community and the environment seriously.”

Stockpiling more than 500 tyres can be a land pollution offence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. The Court convicted Carbon MF for the land pollution offence and for failing to comply with the clean-up notice.

The EPA is working with the owner of the site to now have the tyres removed as quickly and efficiently as possible and will keep the community updated with progress of the removal.

Carbon MF was also ordered by the Court to pay $33,000 in EPA investigation costs and to send details of the offence to their customer list.