Goulburn's Common Street waste operator fined

PENALISED: Waste was almost level with the fence line at the Common Street waste facility in mid-September. The operator has been fined.

PENALISED: Waste was almost level with the fence line at the Common Street waste facility in mid-September. The operator has been fined.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined the Common Street waste facility in Goulburn $7,500 for failing to submit a volumetric survey of the waste stored at the site.

Volumetric surveys keep track of waste stockpiles at sites to ensure waste does not build up to levels which could cause environmental problems, such as windblown litter, offensive odours, fire and water pollution.

These surveys have been an EPA requirement for all waste facilities for more than a decade and must be conducted by a registered surveyor. 

The Common Street facility, operated by Chris Eveston, was required to conduct the volumetric survey in June to show compliance with its 5000 tonnes waste stockpile limit.

However, despite reminders from the EPA, the survey was not conducted until August and was not submitted until October, a spokesman said.

EPA Regional Manager South East Nigel Sargent said accuracy of records at this site was particularly important due to its proximity to residents. 

“Goulburn locals can attest to the fact that this waste facility is close to residential areas,” Mr Sargent said. 

“Volumetric surveys help us prevent things like offensive odours that can have an effect on the community or environment. Until these surveys are submitted, there’s no accurate account of the volume of waste present at the site.

“While it is not illegal for waste facilities to have piles of waste in places visible to the public, we understand that this facility requires close attention and regular monitoring.”

Neighbours and the general community have complained about the waste build-up, which was visible from the fence.

The conditions of the Common Street facility’s environmental protection licence permit the recovery of general waste and waste storage. It is also prohibited from emitting offensive odours.

“The EPA will continue to carry out regular inspections of the site, including monitoring the type, height and content of materials being stored at the facility,” Mr Sargent said.

Penalty notices are just one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

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