EPA Victoria has fined a waste timber grinding company at Clayton and ordered it to clean up dust and fibres that drifted as far as Mulgrave.
The investigation started with complaints from the public. EPA officers found khaki-coloured fibres and dust gathered against buildings and structures in Ct, Mulgrave.
They took samples for scientific analysis and found more of the material in a garden, roadside gutters and a stormwater drain in Miles St.
The samples matched fibres and dust found at Eco Recyclers Pty Ltd, trading as Eco Demolition Vic, in Garden Rd, Clayton.
The company shreds and grinds waste particle board and stockpiles waste chipboard, fibreboard (MDF) and plywood on the site, along with the fluffy khaki fibrous material it produces.
EPA officers found waste fibres on the site, tangled in on the boundary fence, and outside the company’s premises on the eastern side, nearest to Mulgrave.
EPA has fined the company $1,923 and issued it with notices requiring it to install controls to prevent waste fibres and dust from escaping the clean up any material that has already escaped.
EPA Southern Melbourne Metropolitan Regional Manager Viranga Abeywickrema says businesses have a responsibility to the environment and the community.
“The moment the fibres and dust left the premises they became pollution, causing a nuisance to the public and potentially contaminating the land and waterways. The fibres found in nearby streets had crossed a Melbourne Water retarding basin to get there,” Mr Abeywickrema said.
“The General Environmental Duty (GED) that’s built into the Environment Protection Act gives every Victorian a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent pollution,” he said.
“At the very least, that responsibility starts with keeping this material on the property.”
Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and the Infringements Act 2006, the operator has the right to have the infringement notice reviewed or be considered by a court.
Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24-hour hotline on 1300 372 842 or providing details online at epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/reporting-pollution
Reviewed 8 September 2023