The developer is now required to report monthly to the City of Newcastle regarding there waste controls. Image – Canva
  • Pepperwood Ridge Pty Ltd admitted to dumping 7,000 cubic metres of waste illegally
  • Required to pay $1m in clean up costs
  • Will contribute $50k to sustainable programs at the Hunter Wetland Centre

Pepperwood Ridge Pty Ltd, a developer based in Newcastle which is about 160km north of Sydney, has been ordered to pay $1 million for a clean-up on a site that allegedly dumped hazardous construction waste.

7,000 cubic metres of waste – which included asbestos – was gradually moved to the site over four months according to the NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

Pepperwood has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the EPA which requires the company to pay for the clean-up costs.

In addition to this, the developer has agreed to contribute $50,000 towards the Hunter Wetland Centre’s various local environmental and sustainability programs.

Understandably, the New South Wales Environment Minister, Matt Kean, labelled the act as ‘unacceptable’ and a clean-up will immediately occur.

“Storing this amount of waste without a licence is unacceptable and can pose a health and safety risks to the local community and the local environment,” Mr Kean said.

“Following an investigation by the EPA, the company was issued a clean-up notice and the waste was secured safely to eliminate the risk to the community.”

Mr Kean is keen for the fine to remind other developers they will be held accountable if they engage in similar acts.

“This should serve as a warning to developers across the State – dispose of your waste the right way and the responsible way or you will cop the consequences.”

Pepperwood has said they will undertake an environmental audit which includes updating all their waste disposal procedures.

Staff will be required to attend training and education seminars surrounding safe waste disposal.

Additionally, the developer is now required to monitor and maintain their sediment and erosion controls for the rest of the development – along with providing monthly reports to the City of Newcastle.

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