Four CQ waste companies shut down and fined $32K
Four Central Queensland waste companies were “thrown on the scrap heap” by the Queensland Government after each being fined more than $32,000 and ordered to cease operations.
Department of Environment and Science DES inspectors conducted a statewide blitz of waste operators over three months, culminating in more than $100,000 in infringement notices being issued.
A DES spokeswoman said compliance officers visited a number of Central Queensland waste companies.
“The department issued four direction notices (which require activities to immediately cease) and four penalty infringement notices – totalling $32,028,” the spokeswoman said.
The names of the businesses could not be provided, the spokeswoman said, as they had 28 days to appeal the infringement notices.
The spokeswoman said across the state the department also issued 16 Direction Notices to immediately cease activities for operators in breach of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
A total of 15 Penalty Infringement Notices for offences under the EP Act and Environmental Protection Regulation 2019 with fines totalling more than $100,000.
In addition to this work to ensure the waste industry is operating appropriately, a waste stockpile fire prevention guideline has also been developed by DES with support from the Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said ensuring waste was handled appropriately was fundamental to protecting the environment and our communities.
Guaranteeing licensed waste operators who followed the law were protected from operators who were not licensed, was also important to the economy, she said.
Minister Scanlon said preventing fires in waste stockpiles was vital to protecting the health of the community and the environment.
“We have had some significant issues in relation to used tyre stockpiling which have led to fires, Minister Scanlon said.
“When they occur, waste fires are a threat to the environment and to human health.
“The new guideline will assist waste facility operators to manage combustible waste stockpile fire risks and reduce the environmental impacts of a fire at their premises.
“The consequences of waste fires include the release of airborne contaminants, firewater run-off, combustion products, firefighting chemicals and toxic smoke and the significant cost to taxpayers of cleaning-up the mess.”
Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland CEO Mark Smith said Queensland’s waste and recycling sector collectively managed the waste and recycling needs of the state.
“The safe management of Queensland’s waste is a shared responsibility and involves everyone in the supply chain,” Mr Smith said.
“For the waste and recycling industry, they can eliminate, reduce and manage their risks through the adoption of the government’s guideline.
“Others in the supply chain should look to understand their role in fire prevention. For example, the public play a role here which includes not putting batteries into the landfill or recycling bin.”