Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has charged a Thomastown company and its director for allegedly handling waste tyres without a required licence or EPA approval.
By accepting and storing in excess of 5000 waste tyres at its Thomastown site without a required works approval or licence, it is alleged that ELT Recycling Australia Pty Ltd and its director have committed offences under the Environment Protection Act 1970.
Occupiers of premises with the potential for significant environmental impact are required to hold EPA licences to meet operating conditions, monitoring and reporting requirements.
Improper collection and storage of waste tyres can pose a real risk to the environment and community health, as it can increase the likelihood of catching fire.
Once ignited, tyres are very difficult to extinguish and can cause significant environmental damage.
The smoke generated from tyres is also very toxic and impacts on the air quality of the surrounding area.
Storing excess waste tyres without a works approval or licence is an indictable offence and persons found guilty can face significant penalties, including a fine of up to 2400 penalty units, approximately $385,000.
The alleged breaches of the Environment Protection Act 1970 were detected during inspections conducted by the Resource Recovery Facilities Audit Taskforce, which is chaired by EPA.
As the matter is now before the courts EPA will be making no further comment.