Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a Hampton Park landfill more than $8000 after a significant volume of plastic litter blew into a neighbouring property.
EPA officers found Suez Recycling & Recovery Pty Ltd (Suez) had contravened their EPA licence by allowing the rubbish to escape beyond the Hallam Rd site boundary on 10 August 2018.
EPA Southern Metro Acting Manager Stephen Lansdell said officers observed hundreds of pieces of plastic litter, including bags and packaging, strewn across the neighbouring farm and tangled in the fencing.
“Thanks to our eyes and ears in the community who noticed the litter and phoned the 24-hour pollution hotline, EPA officers were able to attend the property before the situation got even worse,” he said.
“Suez cleaned up the litter both on and offsite and is investigating measures to stop litter being blown off waste disposal vehicles during periods of high wind again.
“EPA officers will also continue to monitor the site to ensure it is complying with the conditions of its licence.”
Mr Lansdell said the litter had the potential to enter the stormwater system and cause harm to both sea life and the farm’s cattle if it were ingested.
“Litter is not only unsightly, it clogs our stormwater drains and pollutes our waterways where it can suffocate, or be eaten by, wildlife,” he said.
“Protecting the environment is everyone’s responsibility and we’re grateful to those who reported this and other pollution to us on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
“Under the new EPA Act, which takes effect from 1 July 2020, a General Environmental Duty will be introduced to put the onus onto businesses to take action on any risks from pollution and waste to ensure we protect our environment now and for future generations.”
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, Suez has the right to have the $8,060 fine reviewed or have the matter determined by a court.