Laverton North site regains compliance

An inspection of a major Melbourne recycling company by EPA Victoria officers in March has determined the company has met the conditions of the notice served on them and is now able to resume accepting recyclable waste materials at its Laverton North site.

The Coolaroo site remains non-compliant and will not be able to accept recycling waste until compliance has been confirmed by the EPA.

On 15 February 2019 EPA alleged the company was not in compliance with the Victorian Waste Management Policy(Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials) and issued them with a remedial notice which required them to cease accepting recyclable waste materials at their Laverton North and Coolaroo sites.

EPA CEO Dr Cathy Wilkinson said that in the event of a fire at either site, large amounts of plastic materials could likely generate significant community impacts from smoke and that the recycling industry had had ample time to become compliant with the policy.

The Melbourne company requested the inspection following improvements at their Laverton North site’s outdoor storage which has seen a reduction in stockpiled waste and increased separation distances as required by the policy.

“The closure of the sites was a decision taken to protect the community from the risk of a major fire. EPA will not allow a repeat of the 2017 Coolaroo fire,” Dr Wilkinson said.

“The company has demonstrated that it has met the conditions outlined in our notices and is again compliant. However, EPA will continue to inspect the Laverton site to ensure it remains compliant with the outdoor storage requirements.

“The community expectation is that the company will now maintain compliance and be able to provide a valuable service to Victorians. The message should be clear, EPA is vigilant. Safety and security cannot allowed to be compromised.”

Related stories:

Fire at recycling facility in Laverton North

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade last Wednesday were called to a recycling plant fire in Laverton North, 18km west of Melbourne’s CBD.

It comes just over a week after the Victorian Government released a report which identified that the resource recovery sector is generally “poorly prepared” and “ill-equipped” to manage the risk of fire at their facilities.

Related stories:

Crews were called to the facility on Dohertys Road about 7.30pm after the fire broke out in a large rubbish pile.

The pile measures approximately 100 metres x 10 metres and seven metres high.

Firefighters attacked the blaze from multiple angles and have enlisted the help of aerial appliances to tackle the incident from above.

Staff from the recycling plant helped to break up the pile with heavy machinery.

Firefighters from the CFA also assisted on scene.