Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Cleanaway fined $15,000 for hazardous waste stockpile at Rutherford

Media release: 12 January 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd $15,000 after it was found to be illegally stockpiling hazardous waste at its Rutherford waste facility.

An unannounced inspection by EPA officers on 7 September 2016 found:

  • over 1700 drums and 43 wheelie bins of used oil filters and oily rags
  • 10 open containers of used solvent
  • a damaged tank of bulk waste oil
  • sediment blocking the facility’s stormwater drain.  

The waste had been transported to the Rutherford site from other Cleanaway sites in NSW.

EPA Executive Director Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health Sarah Gardner said the Rutherford facility was not properly equipped to store the waste.

“Cleanaway stored the waste on bare ground and driveways, but it should have been stored in a covered area with bunding which helps to prevent spills leaking into the environment. Poor storage practices can pose a risk to the environment, especially waterways, if waste and polluted runoff leaves the site,” Mrs Gardner said.

Mrs Gardner said the EPA had ensured that Cleanaway removed all hazardous waste from the site by the end of 2016, at significant cost to the company, in addition to the fine. Cleanaway has also been ordered to undertake repairs to the site.

“The EPA will continue to keep a close eye on Cleanaway’s operations around NSW to ensure they meet the required standards. We are requiring Cleanaway to undertake testing at their Rutherford facility so that we can understand if there have been any environmental impacts.”

Cleanaway have received seven penalty notices from the EPA since 2011 for failing to maintain and operate various sites and equipment around NSW.

Penalty notices, official cautions and prevention notices are a number of tools the EPA can use to protect the environment and achieve environmental compliance. The EPA takes in a range of factors into account to determine its regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, potential health impacts, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy


The EPA encourages members of the community with knowledge of a pollution incident to contact the EPA’s 24 hour Environment Line on 131 555 and report the matter.



Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 12 January 2017