Waste transport non-compliance alarms authorities

Concerns over illegal transportation, truck safety and interstate dumpers

Waste transport non-compliance alarms authorities
An EPA image of the compliance blitz


A compliance operation has exposed rogue elements of waste transport, with issues in the industry, including vehicle safety due to overloaded trucks and rollovers and the prevalence of interstate dumpers, also brought to the fore.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) reports that, in late 2018, the state’s five Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) squads and programs led a multi-agency unannounced roadside blitz to crackdown on the illegal transportation and dumping of waste.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), the NSW Police and local councils joined the EPA to intercept waste transport vehicles.

During the operation, they were intercepted and checked for waste transport and disposal compliance, as well as vehicle and road safety compliance.

During the month-long operation 468 heavy vehicles were stopped, with the following results:

  • 130 RMS defect notices and 31 NSW Police infringement notices issued
  • 22 penalty notices and 16 official cautions were issued by RID, totalling $16,447. Notices and cautions were issued to waste transporters for offences including uncovered loads and allowing waste to escape onto the road
  • 4 trucks carrying loads of waste to unlawful sites were redirected to lawful waste facilities
  • The disposal sites of 45 waste trucks are being inspected by the RID Squads and the EPA to check whether the waste was lawfully disposed. Follow up regulatory action will be taken where necessary.  

"This operation aligns with other initiatives underway to tackle this scourge, including the EPA’s Waste Crime Taskforce which targets organised criminal activity and disrupts the waste dumping business model," EPA says.

Late last year, NSW recorded a high-profile conviction of illegal dumper Paul Mouawad, who was handed an 18-month jail sentence for fraud relating to asbestos-contaminated waste disposal.

Transport boss and subcontractor Sam Ali also pleaded guilty for failing to cooperate with investigations.

Read more about the case of Sam Ali, here

Truck safety

The issue of garbage truck safety was also in the spotlight recently with three rollovers in the state.

French-owned waste management company Suez was implicated, with News Limited reporting it had been shown images of weighbridge readings of trucks measured up to 500kg over the weight limit.

Drivers in the ACT were also reported to have refused completing shifts due to safety concerns – axle issues have been identified and addressed, SUEZ was quoted as saying.

Interstate dumping

Queensland is also clamping down on waste disposal, reporting a 37 per cent increase in interstate dumping in its state, with 1.25 million additional tonnes of waste trucked across the border in just 12 months.

The Recycling and Waste in Queensland report notes the increase of 336,000 tonnes was majority of waste construction and demolition materials.

The 11 per cent increase in the generation of headline wastes was greater than Queensland’s population growth of 1.6 per cent. Just under 45 per cent was recovered with the rest heading to landfill.

The state government there is re-introducing a waste levy, on July 1, starting at $75 a tonne, in order to combat the trend.


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