EPA VIC fines Gippsland firm over illegal dumping

EPA VIC has fined Gippsland Waste Services and four of its employees a total of $100,000 for illegally dumping industrial waste.

The conviction in mid-December followed an EPA VIC investigation that started in October 2012 after reports that Gippsland Waste Services (GWS) was unlawfully disposing of tyres at Cann River Landfill.

EPA VIC officers then looked into allegations that GWS was also dumping industrial waste outside business hours to avoid paying the required landfill levy at the Bairnsdale and Kilmany landfills. At the time, GWS was subcontracted by East Gippsland Shire Council and Wellington Shire Council to operate the landfills.

On 15 December, Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court found GWS, now trading as Sort Worx Pty Ltd, guilty on three counts of unlawfully depositing industrial waste at Bairnsdale and Cann River Landfills in August and October 2012 respectively. It was fined $30,000.

Company directors Joseph Agostino of Maribyrnong and Rodney Young of Hazelwood North, and the former general manager, Greg Petrie of Wantirna, were each fined $20,000. Truck driver Ross Handley of Warragul was fined $10,000. GWS and the four men were also ordered to pay $10,000 each in court costs.

EPA Acting Chief Executive Officer Damian Wells said the action against GWS demonstrates EPA VIC’s focus on the illegal dumping of industrial waste and the seriousness that the court places on such offences.

“There are clear rules and requirements for the disposal of industrial waste in Victoria. Breaching these rules is a criminal offence,” said Mr Wells. “In cases where waste cannot be reused or recycled, waste producers and transporters must dispose of their waste at a licensed landfill and pay the Victorian landfill levy.”

Anyone in Victoria who suspects illegal dumping of commercial, industrial or large-scale waste can contact EPA VIC on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC). More information on EPA VIC’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce Program is on its website.

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