14 February 2023

Cootamundra facility hit with $15,000 fine for stockpiling tyres

| Albert McKnight
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A tyre-processing facility in Cootamundra has been fined. Photo: Google Maps.

A tyre-processing facility in Cootamundra has been handed a $15,000 fine for stockpiling more than five times the number of waste tyres it had been licensed to store.

The Commonwealth Steel Company, trading as Molycop 360, was found with 340 tonnes of tyres at its site in May 2022, despite only being permitted to have up to 50 tonnes.

“Under Molycop’s licence, they can store up to 50 tonnes, but on multiple occasions the company has ignored their obligations,” NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) executive director of regulatory operations Carmen Dwyer said.

“During one inspection, EPA officers discovered a stockpile of tyres that was almost six times the legal limit, with 340 tonnes stored.”

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She said stockpiled tyres were a potential fire hazard and strict conditions applied to their storage.

“Rubber tyres are extremely difficult to extinguish, generating large amounts of smoke and high heats, placing authorities, the environment and the community at risk,” Ms Dwyer said.

“If a fire does occur, not only is it hard to put out, but we risk the community and natural environment being exposed to toxic chemicals, as well as run-off into local waterways.”

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She said she was pleased the company had implemented more rigorous processes to ensure compliance and expected this would help it maintain what was previously a good environmental record.

Molycop 360 was contacted for comment.

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