Clean up of Coolaroo fire site complete

The clean-up efforts at SKM Recycling plant in Coolaroo concluded in late October after more than 30,000 tonnes of fire-impacted waste was removed, the Victorian Government reported.

At the height of the fire in July, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade had about 50 appliances and 140 firefighters on scene working with emergency services partners.

Firefighting efforts were led by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, with crews from Country Fire Authority, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and New South Wales all lending a hand.

It is estimated that 140 million litres of contaminated water were pumped out of nearby Merlynston Creek and directed to the sewer system by Melbourne Water.

Following the fire, a joint Victorian Government taskforce was set up to target key recycling sites that require extra management measures to ensure community safety.

The taskforce is currently auditing recycling facilities across Victoria to identify and prioritise sites that require action to better protect the community.

To assist the taskforce, the Victorian Government established an interim Waste Management Policy to improve safety standards at Victorian waste and resource recovery facilities.

On Tuesday 17 October, the Environment Protection Bill 2017 to clarify the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA’s) role and strengthen its governance also passed the senate.