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Environment Protection Authority

EPA fines Metal Top Recyclers $1,500 for waste spillage on the M4 Motorway

Media release: 22 December 2015

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a $1,500 fine to Metal Top Recyclers Pty Ltd in relation to the spillage of hundreds of small pieces of litter along the M4 Motorway in Western Sydney.  

EPA Director Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Steve Beaman said that the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 required waste to be transported in a manner that avoids spillage.

“EPA officers travelling on the M4 Motorway on 16 November 2015 observed and filmed small pieces of plastic, paper or foam being blown from a semi-trailer which they identified as being registered to Metal Top Recyclers. The incident resulted in hundreds of small pieces of litter across all lanes of the motorway and adjacent areas for several kilometres,” Mr Beaman said.

“Roadside litter is a common problem in the Sydney metropolitan area. It not only impacts on the region’s appearance, but can also be a hazard for vehicles, may attract animals to the roadway and contribute to water pollution.’

“The NSW government has identified litter as a key problem area and through the Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative, has dedicated $20 million to address the issue.”

Penalty notices are 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.

The EPA must also take a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, whether or not there are any real or potential health impacts, if the action of the offender was deliberate, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.

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Contact: Laura Brice

Page last updated: 22 December 2015