Glenelg Shire Council has been fined $6107 for failing to cover up waste at the Portland Landfill as required by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria.
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The council is yet to respond to the fine, but has 28 days to pay the penalty, seek an internal review or take the matter to court.

Under licence the council-operated Derril Road landfill can accept disposal of asbestos waste from households, shredded car tyres, industrial and general household waste.

The EPA states hazardous materials require cover by 30 centimetres of soil at the end of each day to reduce odours, health risk and environmental impact.

EPA south west manager Eve Graham said a visit from officers in November to monitor the landfill’s compliance with licence requirements found uncovered waste and litter beyond the boundary fence.

“Officers saw large areas of exposed waste where minimal cover had been applied,” Ms Graham said.

“In addition to tyres and sheet metal, officers saw pooled waste water (leachate) and litter across the site, with large amounts of windblown waste caught up in the boundary fence, on site vegetation and a small amount of waste beyond the fence line.”

Ms Graham said that in response to the EPA visit, the council had begun investigating alternative daily cover methods to overcome a shortage of cover material at the site.

Glenelg Shire mayor Gilbert Wilson yesterday said the council was disappointed with the fine and would likely question it.

“We’ve been working very hard with the EPA to update our processes at the landfill,” Cr Wilson said.

“It was a surprise.

“It’s one where we thought our processing and procedures were changing quite well but obviously we’re not quick enough in the eyes of the EPA.

“At this stage we’re unsure of what action the council will be taking with that fine.

“We’re certainly looking into questioning the fine.”

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