Landfill operator Veolia Environmental Services Pty Ltd will pay a $30,000 fine after an EPA Victoria prosecution over exposed litter and uncovered waste at its landfill at Patho, between Echuca and Cohuna in northern Victoria.


EPA officers laid the charge after inspections and aerial photographs of the landfill on Davis Rd taken by an EPA drone over several days in January 2023. 


The Echuca Magistrates’ Court heard the company’s EPA licence required it to cover the landfill’s working face with soil or inert waste at the end of each day to, among other things, contain litter, and to use fencing and other measures to stop litter from spreading. The company’s licence also required it to cover waste in the cells at all times. 


EPA officers inspected the site in September and November 2022 and provided compliance advice, which gave the company a chance to fix the problems and avoid prosecution, but when they returned in January, the problems were still there.


In its defence, the company told the court that flooding and a shortage of staff had hampered operations at the Patho landfill.  An EPA inspection in April 2023, found the exposed waste problems identified during the earlier inspections had been rectified.


Magistrate Aumair fined the company, without recording a conviction, but warned any potential offenders that but for the plea of guilty, she would have convicted the company and imposed a $100,000 fine.  The court also required the company to publish the nature of the offending and the penalty imposed in a local newspaper and pay EPA $4,448 in costs.


EPA says every landfill site in Victoria is subject to inspections, and licence requirements are there to protect the environment and community from pollution, including liquids leaching into the land, and litter or odour escaping above the surface.


Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24-hour hotline on 1300 372 842 or providing details online at


Reviewed 4 July 2024