For the second time this week, an Illawarra business owned by waste company Bingo Industries has fallen foul of the Environment Protection Authority.
Helensburgh Recyling has been hit with a $15,000 fine by the Environment Protection Authority for unlawfully accepting asphalt waste at the Walker Street facility.
On Tuesday, the EPA issued a clean-up notice to Wollongong Recycling at Kembla Grange after building material it delivered to four sites, including Wollongong’s Blue Mile Tramway, was found to be contaminated with asbestos.
The EPA notice stated the material at all sites had to be removed by October 15.
No fine was levied but a $535 administrative charge will need to be paid.
Bingo Industries bought both the Helensburgh and Kembla Grange businesses from the Blackwell family earlier this year.
Officers from the EPA conducted a surprise inspection of the Helensburgh site on August 15.
While they were there, a truck entered the site carrying a load of asphalt waste – which was not permitted under its environment protection licence.
The Helensburgh facility’s licence only allowed it to accept wood waste, garden waste, soils, and other organic waste.
This waste was checked at the weighbridge and then waved through to be deposited on site.
More asphalt waste was seen being received onto the site during another site inspection on September 14.
One truck was turned around by staff but EPA officers observed evidence of previous depositions.
EPA Acting Manager of Regional Waste Compliance Steven James said the agency took licence compliance seriously.
“These licences are much more than a piece of paper or an environmental suggestion – they outline the specific rules and conditions waste facilities must operate by to ensure minimal risk to the environment,” Mr James said.
An EPA spokeswoman said that if the Helensburgh facility committed further offences, more severe compliance action could follow.
In a statement, a spokesman for Bingo did not refute the claims from the EPA.
“Bingo Industries notes the penalty notice issued by the EPA to Helensburgh Recycling,” the spokesman said.
“The Helensburgh facility was recently acquired by Bingo, which maintains strict operating procedures and protocols compliant with ISO 14001 (environmental) standards.
“Bingo has subsequently implemented these operating procedures at the facility, including training staff on its licensing obligations.”