Burning tyres and other waste has cost a Gippsland farmer a fine of $1,110 after the smoke and smell drew attention to the site.

EPA officers responded to the property at Tyers, near Traralgon, in response to a report from a member of the public.

They found two piles of burnt waste and a fire still burning in a pit.  There was a fuel container nearby and evidence of approximately 300 litres of burnt tyres.

The waste had come from a cleanup of unwanted vegetation and scrap metal.  Disposing of waste by burning is a breach of the Environment Protection Act 2017.

EPA Gippsland Regional Manager Jessica Bandiera says burning waste like this creates toxic smoke and possible contamination of the soil and local waterways.

“This was both illegal and hazardous to human health and the environment. Industrial waste like this must be taken to a properly licensed landfill or recycling facility. It’s the only way to do the right thing by the environment and your community,” Ms Bandiera said.

“The next rain can easily take ash and other burnt remains of waste straight to the nearest creek or stormwater drain; it does no favours at all for the environment or neighbouring farms,” she said.

“The atmosphere and the nearest creek are not the right places for your industrial waste, and any passing member of the public can pick up a phone and report similar waste fires to EPA.”

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 www.epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/reporting-pollution

Reviewed 3 July 2023