The Victorian EPA has discovered about 8,000 tonnes of soft plastics in warehouses across Melbourne as part of the suspended REDcycle program.
An information gathering notice issued by EPA to the operators of REDcycle uncovered warehouses managed by logistics companies in Melbourne’s western and northern suburbs.
The soft plastics found in the Melbourne warehouses are thought to have come from outside of Victoria. EPA officers continue to work with interstate colleagues, and it is believed that additional sites could exist across Victoria and the country containing tonnes of material.
EPA CEO Lee Miezis said officers are acting quickly to ensure fire risk mitigation is in place in all sites to reduce the possibility of harm to local communities and the businesses that have been left with this soft plastic waste.
“Our officers are out inspecting sites today and we’ll continue to work hard – using our stronger regulatory powers – until we’re certain we’ve found every site in Victoria. We will not allow unacceptable risks to Victoria’s community or environment from pollution or waste.
“Although the operators of REDcycle did tell us about some of the sites, intelligence from logistics companies and others is assisting EPA’s investigations. If you have any of these soft plastic wastes at your warehouse, we need to know.’’
“For your safety and for the safety of your employees, business and local community, you must make sure that you’re complying with our environmental laws.’’
In May this year, Victorian EPA officers found a warehouse containing soft plastics in Williamstown North, which was under the control of the operators of REDcycle. The site was brought into compliance after EPA intervened and further regulatory action against the company has led to this larger discovery.
Insidewaste.com.au: By Mike Wheeler