Thursday, April 25, 2024

Company fined $24,000 for illegal dumping

A Newcastle demolition company has been fined $24,000 for illegal dumping of waste following an investigation by the Regional Illegal Dumping Squad.

In May, 2021 investigators from the Hunter/Central Coast Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Squad inspected a rural property at Richmond Vale, near Kurri Kurri. They located a site where approximately 20 tonnes of building and demolition material had been dumped in bushland.

“A detailed examination of the waste revealed a number of investigative avenues, which eventually led to the points of origin being identified as coming from the recent demolitions of two separate houses, one in New Lambton within the Newcastle City Council LGA and another in Kahibah, in the Lake Macquarie City Council LGA,” Lake Macquarie City Council said in a statement today.

It says unique items located within the waste piles were identified by the owners of the two houses, who had contracted to have the waste from the demolitions lawfully disposed of.

The same company, Integrity Newcastle Pty Ltd, conducted both house demolitions through it’s business name, Integrity Tree and Demolition.

“When interviewed, the Director of the company was unable to provide a reasonable explanation as to how the waste material he had been contracted and paid to take to a lawful waste facility came to be in bushland at Richmond Vale,” Council said.

Integrity Newcastle Pty Ltd has been issued two fines for illegal dumping of the building and demolition waste, totalling $16,000. Further, the Protection of the Environment Operations Act allows that Directors of companies breaching the Act can also be held individually liable. Accordingly, the sole Director of Integrity Newcastle Pty Ltd was also issued two fines in his own name totalling a further $8,000.

One of the drivers used by the company to transport waste to the site has also been identified and fined $4,000 as an individual.

The company has also been issued an enforceable Clean Up Notice requiring the waste to be removed and lawfully disposed of at a waste facility. If this does not occur, further substantial fines are possible.

“This is another example of the type of work RID undertakes in this region. This offence occurred in Cessnock, from house demolitions in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie,” said Coordinator of the Hunter/Central Coast RID Squad, Rob Robertson.

“The offenders do not recognise lines on a map, so the benefits of having a team of very experienced investigators, working across Council boundaries, cannot be overstated.”

The Hunter/Central Coast Regional Illegal Dumping Squad is a joint program between local Councils and the NSW Environment Protection Authority, partly funded by the Waste Levy.

Residents can report illegal dumping via the RID Squad webpage

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