For immediate use by media outlets.

A Ringwood metal recycler has received two fines from EPA for offences under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

Recycal Pty Ltd of Heatherdale Rd, Ringwood failed to properly store and manage combustible waste and recycling materials and then failed to report on its progress in rectifying the situation.

“The company should have been taking all reasonable steps to manage and store the material in a way that reduced the risk of fire to human health and the environment,” said EPA CEO Lee Miezis

“We issued notices to Recycal requiring materials that they stored outside were done so in a compliant way and that they report to us on their progress. They failed to meet either requirement and have been fined a total of $17,428 ( $8,261 and $9,087),” said Mr Miezis.

“We continue to monitor the site as part of the EPA Fire Prevention Program (FPP) which takes a zero- tolerance approach to any risk that is not controlled or any non-compliance that is detected.

So far under the FPP, EPA has conducted 447 inspections assessing 276 sites and issuing 20 Penalty Infringement Notices.

From 1 July, 2021, EPA has been operating under the new Environment Protection Act 2017. Central to the new laws is an Australian first, the establishment of a general environmental duty (GED) that is criminally enforceable. This requires people conducting activities that pose risks to human health and the environment from pollution and waste to understand those risks and take reasonable steps to eliminate or minimise them. The new laws allow for significantly greater penalties for non-compliance.

Members of the public can help EPA to reduce fire risk by reporting waste and resource recovery sites that don’t comply with the regulations.  If you see tightly packed, large or rapidly growing stockpiles at a recycling site near you, call EPAs 24 hour pollution hotline, on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

Reviewed 14 October 2021