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In 2017–18, EPA successfully removed Victoria’s largest tyre stockpile.
Located on the western outskirts of Stawell, the stockpile was estimated at more than one million tyres and posed an extremely huge fire risk to the township and surrounding communities.
Had a fire occurred, it would have caused significant environmental, social, economic and agricultural impacts: waterway pollution from fire water and contamination, the likely closure of major highway and railway connections and significant costs from a firefighting effort that would have likely lasted several months.
To address these risks, EPA led the development of a cross-agency Whole of Victorian Government (WoVG) group. This group was tasked with exploring options to eliminate the risk, including the use of regulatory tools across all partner agencies.
Following extensive interagency engagement, including advice from the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, EPA began work on 9 August 2017 to remove the tyres using powers under section 62 of the Environment Protection Act 1970. This was the first time section 62 had been exercised in full by us.
In just nine weeks, 9500 tonnes (380 truckloads) were removed with support from government partner agencies, consultants and local contractors. More than 63 per cent of the materials removed were recycled.
While the primary aim of this project was to eliminate the fire risk to the Stawell community, a multitude of benefits were realised; particularly, the strengthening of relationships across government which has given us a solid foundation for more collaborative problem solving going forward.
EPA acknowledges and thanks Country Fire Authority, Emergency Management Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, WorkSafe, the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, Department of Health and Human Services and Northern Grampians Shire Council for their support and commitment throughout the project. We also wish to thank the Stawell community for their trust and cooperation which was vital in ensuring our success.
*Roughly 1 million tyres
trucks’ worth of waste
tonnes of tyres shred
Victoria’s largest tyre stockpile
Completed in 9 weeks – half the time originally estimated
Over 63% of materials were able to be recycled
Watch the removal in action through this time-lapse video.
Before and after
Over one million tyres - 9,500 tonnes - were removed from the site.
EPA collaborated with local council and agencies to complete the job in just nine weeks, half the time estimated.
The tyre site at ground level.
Victoria’s Chief Environmental Scientist: a credible voice
Page last updated on 31 Dec 2018