In March 2018, Loddon Shire Council and EPA uncovered a huge stockpile of industrial waste on a local farm. It included:
- 130 44-gallon drums containing liquids that could be dangerous
- 10 run-down vehicles
- 40 car batteries
- oxygen tanks
- a broken caravan.
“Materials had been collected over the past year for a local fundraiser,” said Loddon Shire’s Officer for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE).
“But the property is in a low-density residential zone, where you’re not allowed to store waste and recyclables. People also started dumping junk there without permission, and there were reports of theft from the stockpile.”
To deal with the stockpile, the OPLE used their powers under the Environment Protection Act 1970. They issued:
- a notice to identify the occupier
- a Clean Up Notice.
The Clean Up Notice instructed the landowner to remove all waste from the premises. They had to transport it to a disposal facility with either an EPA licence or local government permit.
The landowner appointed an agent who met with the OPLE and council staff in May 2018. They discussed a cleanup action plan.
“The council gave advice on safely clearing the site while minimising costs,” the OPLE said. “The agent committed to providing monthly progress reports, which went beyond the notice requirements.”
In September 2018, the OPLE inspected the site and after determined that the landowner had complied with the notice.
The OPLE also advised all parties that any similar fundraising activities in future must:
- have a planning permit from the council
- take place on appropriately zoned land with adequate storage. This will help minimise visual and environmental impacts.
Find more information for businesses on managing industrial waste.
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Reviewed 23 March 2020