Melbourne waste plant hit with another ban

A Melbourne waste plant has been banned from accepting recyclables for the second time this year, and just days after a fire at the site.

A Melbourne waste plant run by one of Victoria’s biggest kerbside recycling companies is banned from accepting rubbish for the second time in months, less than 48 hours after a fire at the site.

Waste stockpiles at SKM Services’ Laverton North facility have grown despite an order from the state’s environmental watchdog to reduce them.

Wednesday’s waste ban comes after a small machinery blaze at the western Melbourne plant on Monday night, involving a conveyor belt surrounded by tonnes of recyclable and potentially flammable material.

SKM was ordered in February to stop accepting waste at its Laverton North and Coolaroo sites but the ban was lifted a month later.

Last month, the EPA ordered the company bring its stockpiles at the two sites into line with state rules by early July.

SKM requested a two-week extension and this was granted on strict conditions before inspectors this week found stockpiles at Laverton North had grown.

SKM is able to keep processing recyclables already at the site, but it cannot accept any new material until environmental authorities are convinced it is safe to do so.

The company has until July 17 to show it can comply with the EPA’s conditions at the Coolaroo site.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade continues to investigate the cause of Monday’s fire which sparked the evacuation of workers, but was quickly controlled.

SKM and its director have been charged over a fire at the company’s Coolaroo site in July 2017, which burned more than a week and allegedly resulted in significant pollution potentially harmful to nearby residents and the environment.