Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a local company $7773 for breaching industrial waste regulations when storing thousands of waste tyres at its site at 60 Smith Road, Springvale.
EPA Southern Metro Manager Marleen Mathias, said under the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007, ELT Recycling P/L is permitted to store up to 40 tonnes, or the equivalent of 5,000 waste car tyres, on the site for purposes of retreading, recycling or resale.
“However, an inspection by EPA officers found more than twice that amount stored on the site, which represents a potential fire hazard, with the associated danger to people’s health and the environment,” Ms Mathias said. The inspection came after EPA received an anonymous report from the public.
ELT Recycling Pty Ltd has also been issued with a statutory notice requiring the reduction of the number of waste tyres stored at the premises to below the permitted level.
“EPA will be conducting a follow up inspection to make sure that the stockpile has been reduced to meet the regulations,” Ms Mathias said.
EPA tightened tyre regulations in 2015 to ensure the Victorian public was better protected from the risk of tyre fires, vermin and other hazards from unsafe stockpiles.
The regulations require premises that store more than 40 tonnes or 5,000 waste tyres to obtain a licence from EPA. They also specify on-site firefighting resources, limits on the size of piles of tyres and minimum distances between and around the piles.
“Tyre fires are very hard to control and generate hazardous smoke. This smoke can cause a health risk to the community through the inhalation of particles and chemicals,” Ms Mathias said.
Anyone who illegally stockpiles tyres can face a fine of up to $373,104 if prosecuted before the courts.
If the community suspects someone is illegally stockpiling tyres or taking them to a place that cannot lawfully accept waste tyres, they are encouraged to contact EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
To view EPA tyre regulations, please visit:
http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/guidelines/waste-guidance/storage-of-waste-tyres-in-victoria or http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/setting-standards/waste-tyre-storage-ris