Tip operator found guilty of illegal dumping

THE business that formerly operated Wellington Shire Council’s Kilmany landfill, Gippsland Waste Services Pty Ltd, was found guilty of illegally dumping industrial waste.

Gippsland Waste Services Pty Ltd (GWS), now known as Sort Worx Pty Ltd, was found guilty in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on three counts of unlawfully depositing industrial waste at Bairnsdale and Cann River landfills in August and October 2012 respectively. 

Company directors, Joseph Agostino and Rodney Young, former general manager Greg Petrie and truck driver Ross Handley were also found guilty on three counts of unlawfully depositing industrial waste. 

The court heard EPA began an investigation in October 2012 following reports GWS was illegally dumping tyres at the Cann River landfill. 

EPA officers subsequently investigated allegations that industrial waste was also being illegally dumped outside business hours to avoid paying the required landfill levy at the Bairnsdale and Kilmany landfills. 

At the time, GWS was subcontracted by East Gippsland Shire Council and Wellington Shire Council to operate the landfills. 

EPA executive director of regional services Damian Wells said the action against GWS should serve as a reminder to the waste industry there are clear rules and requirements for the disposal of waste within Victoria. 

“In cases where waste cannot be reused or recycled, waste producers and transporters must dispose of their waste at a licensed landfill and pay the Victorian landfill levy,” Mr Wells said. 

“Illegal dumping is an environmental crime. Businesses who ignore their waste management undermine operators who are doing the right thing and Victoria’s waste management system which ensures waste is safely and appropriately disposed of.”

The matter returns to the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court for sentencing this Monday, December 21.