Loddon Shire Council’s Officer for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) has teamed up with council and EPA’s North West regional office to address a huge stockpile of industrial waste on a local farm.
A joint inspection of the property in March 2018 uncovered a vast array of scrap metal and junk, including
130 44-gallon drums containing potentially dangerous liquids, 10 dilapidated vehicles, 40 car batteries, oxygen tanks, fridges, freezers, lawnmowers, a broken caravan, and much more.
“The materials had been collected over the past year for a local fundraiser, but the property is in a low-density residential zone where storing waste and recyclables is prohibited. People had also started dumping junk there without permission, and there were reports of items in the stockpile being stolen,” the OPLE said.
The OPLE used their powers under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to issue a notice to identify the occupier and a Clean Up Notice (notice) requiring that the duty holder remove all waste from the premises and transport it to a disposal facility with either an EPA licence or local government permit.
The land owner appointed an agent who met with the OPLE and council staff in May 2018 to discuss their
clean-up action plan.
“Council provided advice on safely clearing the site while minimising costs, and the agent committed to providing monthly progress reports, which went beyond the requirements of the notice.”
The OPLE revoked the notice in September 2018 after determining that the duty holder had complied with all aspects of the notice within the required time-frame.
All parties have been advised that any similar fundraising activities in the future will require a planning permit from council and take place on appropriately-zoned land with adequate storage to minimise visual and environmental impacts.
Further information about managing industrial waste can be found here.