WODONGA Rendering has been fined $5841 for its stockpiling of 4000 tonnes of rotting abattoir waste at a Carrolls Lane property on the city’s outskirts earlier this year.
The fine has been levied by the Environmental Protection Authority, following the completion of its investigation of community complaints about a stench coming from the property in early May.
EPA officers inspecting the property found animal waste had been stockpiled and windrowed in a method that breached the requirements of the company’s licence.
It received eight complaints in a day about the odour coming from the property where Wodonga Rendering is licensed to direct drill part of the waste from its Kelly Street abattoir.
EPA’s North East manager Ann Telford said the large stockpiles of odorous waste material had been identified as paunch — the contents of an animal’s stomach, and sludge generated from the rendering process.
They had been found piled along the boundary fence, where waste had spilled through to a neighbouring property.
“Stockpiling waste is not on and failing to manage the waste so that it spills through neighbouring fences and generates odour equates to poor environmental risk management, particularly when the area in question is a floodplain,” Ms Telford said.
“At the time of the incident EPA officers found a number of issues at the site including no diversion drains in place to divert rainwater away from the piles, no bunding to stop waste water escaping the site, and the pooling of leachate around the waste.”
Ms Telford said Wodonga Rendering had co-operated with the EPA’s investigation and had met the requirements of two notices that it stop stockpiling waste and remove any rendering and abattoir waste not contained properly.
It also advised the EPA that it planned to eventually decommission the Carrolls Lane property as a destination for some of its abattoir waste.
Ms Telford said the company had 28 days to pay the fine, seek a review or have the matter dealt with in court.
Wodonga Rendering general manager Jon Hayes said he did not wish to comment on the fine or the completion of the EPA investigation.