Melbourne waste facility cops $8000 fine

·1-min read

One of Victoria's biggest waste companies has been fined more than $8000 after drones found stockpiles of flammable materials at one of its sites.

There have been several fires at Suez Recycling & Recovery in Epping in recent years, including a blaze in a stockpile of organic material in February.

After the February fire, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) asked Suez Recycling to bring storage of its combustible materials into line.

However, a drone survey found stockpiles of flammable material, which the EPA says "had the potential to not only increase the impacts of a fire, but also to reduce the ability of emergency services to extinguish it".

As a result, the EPA slapped Suez Recycling with an $8261 fine, which the company initially challenged but has now been paid in full.

EPA Northern Metropolitan manager Jeremy Settle said the authority had zero tolerance for fires at waste and resource recovery sites.

"Industry must take steps to minimise the risk of fire occurring at their sites, and also have a plan in place to respond in the event that a fire does happen," he said.

A criminally enforceable General Environmental Duty has been introduced as of July 1, placing greater responsibility on anyone who creates pollution.

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