Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined two companies in Melbourne’s north a total of $15,546 for illegally storing almost 20,000 waste tyres.
EPA Metro Manager Daniel Hunt said an EPA inspection found Campbellfield tyre recycler Dave & James Pty Ltd was storing approximately 10,000 equivalent passenger units (EPUs) of waste tyres at its Glenbarry Road site without the required EPA licence.
A second site operated by BMB Tyre Traders Pty Ltd on Maygar Boulevard in Broadmeadows was storing approximately 9,000 waste tyres.
“That’s almost double the legal limit for unlicensed sites,” Mr Hunt said.
“Under EPA regulations, businesses that store more than 40 tonnes or 5,000 EPUs must obtain a works approval before a facility is built as well as an EPA licence to operate. These companies had neither,” he said.
Both businesses were fined a total of $7,773 each and issued with remedial notices requiring them to reduce their stockpiles to below 5,000 EPUs.
Mr Hunt said BMB Tyre Traders had now reduced its stockpile to below 5,000 EPU and that Dave & James was given a deadline of 28 February to reduce its stockpile and that officers would be visiting the site in the coming days to check if that had occurred.
Large tyre stockpiles are a problem because they pose a major fire risk to the environment and the local community.
“Tyre fires cause pollution of the atmosphere and are incredibly difficult to extinguish. Once ignited, they are hard to control and generate hazardous smoke that can cause a health risk to the community,” Mr Hunt said.
“EPA tightened tyre regulations in 2015 to ensure the Victorian public was better protected from the risk of tyre fires from unsafe stockpiles.”
Mr Hunt said anyone who illegally stockpiled tyres could face a fine of up to $777,300 if prosecuted before the courts.
Last month a Craigieburn company was fined more than $7,500 after it disregarded an official warning issued to it for storing too many waste tyres at its premises.
Mr Hunt said EPA was taking strong action to enforce Victoria’s tyre regulations, having recently targeted high-risk sites across Melbourne’s north-west as part of a joint campaign with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and local councils.