Tackling waste crime
Waste crime is a growing issue in Victoria. It is also an issue across Australia and internationally.
From 1 July 2021 EPA has more powers to deal with waste crime. There will be new duties for waste and tougher penalties for those who don’t meet their obligations.
Intelligence sharing by authorities is critical in disrupting waste crime.
We are taking actions including:
Intelligence from the community is critical for all regulators, but especially for EPA as we work to combat waste crime.
We combine intelligence received from the community with information shared with us from other authorities like Victoria Police and WorkSafe.
If you have seen or heard something that doesn’t seem right, or if you have a tipoff, we want to hear from you. Please contact us. You can remain anonymous.
EPA is committed to taking strong action against those who break the law.
We have increased the number of inspections our officers undertake and the proportion of unannounced inspections.
We are also:
From 1 July 2019, we mandated use of electronic waste transport certificates and are designing a new modern digital waste tracker that will start on 1 July 2021.
This new system will help us better track the movement of hazardous waste and identify irregularities which may help to uncover waste crime.
We are also using new technology in our fight against waste crime including drone-mounted ground penetrating radar. This can be used to fly over a site and work out where waste may be buried.
A digital transformation of EPA’s technology is also underway to enable more effective regulation. This includes replacement of our pollution reporting system.
We’ve boosted our data and analytics team to improve access to intelligence. This will help us design our regulatory programs and take compliance and enforcement actions.
The mandated use of electronic waste transport certificates is already enabling significantly better data and information to target compliance and enforcement activities.
Further improvements are coming with our new digital waste tracker tool.
We have new EPA teams focused exclusively on western and northern metropolitan Melbourne, enhancing our statewide network. These are regions where suspected waste crime has been identified.
Our existing regions are also working with local authorities to identify and tackle waste crime.
EPA has responded to suspected waste crime and pollution related incidents across Victoria, including:
Most of our licence compliance and pollution response inspections are unannounced. This helps us to observe business operations and illegal activity and take action quickly.
The state of waste crime in Victoria
Current environmental issues EPA is investigating and monitoring
Reviewed 17 March 2021