Hopley Recycling, a White Hills, Bendigo recycling company and two of its directors have been fined $7,500, ordered to pay costs of $17,000 and the two directors placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond in a Bendigo Court today.
The decision is in addition to a $7,000 fine Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) handed out to Hopley in April 2017, following reports to the pollution hotline.
The action was taken against Hopley Recycling Pty Ltd, Kenneth Hopley and Justin Hopley who pleaded Guilty to 17 charges each for illegally dumping industrial waste at a White Hills site not licensed or permitted to receive it, failing to comply with a EPA clean up notice and failing to comply with a notice to produce documents required by an EPA authorised office
EPA Acting North West Manager Danny Childs said the result sends a clear message to the waste and recycling industry that EPA would make duty holders accountable, impose fines and take further action to stamp out illegal dumping.
“At the time EPA officers attended the former White Hills landfill and saw a large amount of industrial waste, the sort of quantity of material that is generated when demolishing large buildings containing scrap metal, plastic, concrete, timber, broken brick and asphalt-like materials deposited and stockpiled at the site,” Mr Childs said.
“Many truckloads were deposited illegally at sites that did not have the required permits to receive the waste. EPA Clean Up Notices and efforts to bring the company into line were ignored so the action taken against Hopley and its directors is completely appropriate.”
Given the serious nature of the dumping, EPA also brought charges against Hopley Recycling Pty Ltd (Hopley Recycling) and the two directors with breaches of the Environment Protection Act 1970 that occurred between 2013 and 2015 at a premise adjacent to the White Hills site resulting in today’s decision.
“Recyclers need to understand their responsibilities and the consequences of ignoring them. Failure to comply with EPA remedial notices will not be tolerated.
This is an important decision highlighting the very serious nature of the problem. Duty holders will be held to their legal obligations.”
The decision comes amid broader action to tackle waste management with the Victorian Government establishing a Recycling Taskforce headed by EPA.