Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has prosecuted a recycling company for depositing industrial waste at a clean fill site at Heatherton in 2017.

Delta Recycling Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Moorabbin Magistrate’s Court to a single charge of permitting contaminated soil from a development site at South Yarra to be dumped at its clean fill premises, the Delta Group Henry Street Cleanfill Site, at 91 – 185 Kingston Rd, Heatherton.

EPA Regional Manager for the Southern Metropolitan Region, Marleen Mathias, says the investigation began with reports from members of the public of hydrocarbon odours at the development site.

“EPA officers inspected the development site on the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street, took soil samples for analysis and arranged for a truck carrying waste soil to be kept under surveillance as it left the site,” Ms Mathias said.

“At the Heatherton site, EPA officers found 10 stockpiles of soil, four metres square and 1.5 metres high, with a strong odour.” The officers were informed that these stockpiles originated from the South Yarra development site.

Soil samples taken by EPA officers from the Heatherton site indicated that it was likely contaminated soils had been received, handled or deposited at the site.

As well as commencing a prosecution, EPA issued the company with a Minor Works Pollution Abatement Notice (MWPAN), a legally enforceable order requiring the company to make sure any prescribed industrial waste from the development site only went to properly licensed disposal facilities, and to cease depositing any material from the development site at the Heatherton clean fill facility.

EPA also issued the company with a Clean Up Notice (CUN) to ensure material deposited at the Heatherton clean fill facility is removed and that the site is free from contamination.

“Industrial waste does not just go away, nor do a company’s responsibilities under the law,” Ms Mathias said.

“Poor management of industrial waste has consequences for the environment, and can lead to fines, possible court prosecution, and being held responsible for cleaning it up,” she said.

“It is up to the company or person disposing of the waste to know their responsibilities and to meet those responsibilities, and EPA won’t hesitate to take action if they don’t.”

Delta Recycling was sentenced to a fine of $15,000, without conviction and ordered to pay the EPA’s costs of $13,500.

Reviewed 7 November 2019