Penrith Council has fined a waste collection company $6000 and issued a Clean Up Action Notice by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for transporting and processing construction waste on a rural property in Kemps Creek.
The company came to the attention of the EPA and Council after complaints were received about large piles of construction waste being stored and separated on the rural property.
An investigation found the company was collecting construction waste from residential construction sites across Penrith and taking it to Kemps Creek site where it was being sorted and separated and some disposed to landfill.
Council worked closely with the EPA to identify that no development consent was given for the activity and that the company had not sought a licence from the EPA to operate a waste storage and processing operation.
Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown said illegal waste activities such as this were unacceptable and that investigations were continuing.
“This type of activity has the potential to cause significant harm to human health and the environment due to the possibility of asbestos contamination and also pollution of local water ways from construction waste,” Councillor McKeown said.
“We continue to work with the EPA on this matter to ensure that all the waste is removed and the area is returned to its original state.
“While investigations into the company responsible for importing the waste continue, Council warns all businesses in the construction and demolition industry that operate in the Penrith area to regularly check with their contractors on what they are doing with the waste they are collecting and that it is being taken to a lawful facility.
“Council is working hard with the EPA to create a level playing field for businesses that operate within the law. We commend those businesses who are doing the right thing.”
Recent changes to legislation has led to significant increases to penalties for unlawful activities. Penalties of up to $250,000 for an individual and $1,000,000 for a corporation can now be applied.