Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd fined $15,000 for storing hazardous waste at Rutherford site

Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd has been fined $15,000 for illegally stockpiling hazardous waste at its Rutherford base.

In an unannounced inspection on September 7, 2016, the NSW Environmental Protection Authority allegedly found more than 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 and sediment blocking the facility’s stormwater drain. 

EPA executive director hazardous incidents and environmental health, Sarah Gardner said the facility was not 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,” she said.

“Poor storage practices can pose a risk to the environment, especially waterways, if waste and polluted runoff leaves the site.”

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

Mrs Gardner said Cleanaway removed all hazardous waste from the site before the end of last year and had been ordered to undertake repairs to the site. 

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