Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined Hanson Landfill Services P/L nearly $8000 for breaching a condition of the EPA licence for its Wollert Landfill.
EPA Metro Region Manager Jeremy Settle said EPA investigators had used an aerial drone to conduct an after-hours inspection of the site at 45 Bridge Inn Road, and found areas of waste had been left uncovered.
“One of the basics of operating a landfill is that you must cover the waste with soil at the end of the day,” Mr Settle said.
“The licence specifies that waste must be sealed with at least 30 centimetres of soil at the end of each day,” he said.
“Covering any exposed waste at the end of each day greatly reduces odour or litter being blown about by the elements and finding its way onto roads and impacting nearby properties.”
“Covering the waste also greatly reduces the potential for contaminated runoff entering storm water drains and waterways when it rains,” Mr Settle said.
The landfill is licensed to accept household garbage and some types of industrial waste. The camera-equipped drone showed the EPA officers there were multiple operational areas with uncovered waste, including plastic, metal and wood, on the surface.
Mr Settle said EPA would continue to monitor the landfill to ensure compliance with all conditions of the site’s EPA licence occurred.
“EPA licence holders are expected to take their environmental responsibilities seriously. The licence conditions are designed to ensure the landfill is managed in a way that minimises any impacts on surrounding environment and the community,” Mr Settle said.
The company has been fined $7929. Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, the company has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notice reviewed or alternatively to have the matter heard and determined by a court.
EPA wants to continue to work with the public to ensure we all take responsibility for the environment, and urges members of the public to report suspected pollution to the EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or at www.epa.vic.gov.au