Tyre baron dumps whopping clean-up bill on landlord
A Brisbane recycling company has been dumped with a whopping $500,000-plus clean-up bill after a tyre baron walked out of his rented Logan premises, leaving hundreds of thousands of old tyres behind.
Tyremil owner Tony DiCarlo, who is under investigation for hoarding hundreds of thousands of used tyres at the rented Kingston property, walked out last month, leaving stacks of used tyres for his landlord Ron Wanless to clean up.
Mr Di Carlo started renting the Queens Rd site from Action Metal, owned by the Wanless Waste Management, in 2009, and used the site to store used tyres he was paid to remove and dispose.
Over those years, it was estimated he stacked more than 700,000 tyres on the site, creating a fire hazard and catching the attention of Logan City Council, QFES and the Department of Environment and science.
Action Metal general manager Kevin Carlisle declined to say how much was owed in unpaid rent but said he was out of pocket despite Mr Di Carlo receiving up to $4 a tyre from car companies to take away their old tyres.
He said to clean up and legally dispose of the thousands of tyres would cost his company upward of $500,000.
Action Metal operates a scrap metal yard and weighbridge next door to the site and Mr Carlisle said they wanted their land back so they could use it and rent it out.
"My staff have spent the best part of three months cleaning up the site and removing more than 20 container loads of tyres and we are nearly finished," he said.
"We are looking at renting it out but have not settled on a tenant yet - it's been such a big job to clean up.
"I estimate it will cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in the end."
A Department of Environment and science spokesman said an investigation into Mr Di Carlo was under way but more than 95 per cent of the tyre stockpile at the Kingston site had been cleared.
"DES is continuing to liaise with the landlord to remove tyres from the site and the landlord is co-operating," the spokesman said.
"Tyre fires have the potential to emit large volumes of smoke to the atmosphere, and run-off from fires can carry contaminants to waterways and the environment."
Environmental Protection Orders were issued against Mr Di Carlo's businesses in Kingston in December 2016 with the actions described in the orders to be completed by June 30, 2017.
Those orders remain active as no expiry date was set and the department did not extend a deadline for compliance.
Tyremil Group, was fined $305,000 in February 2019 after going into liquidation.
Mr Di Carlo was charged with 58 offences against the Environmental Protection Act and a conviction recorded.
The department has also issued show cause notices to cancel the suitable operator registration for entities related to Mr Di Carlo at the Kingston site so they will be unable to operate those facilities in the future.
Mr Di Carlo also rented a site at Rocklea where he also stored used tyres.
In July, last year, the Planning and Environment Court issued a restraint order requiring him to establish firebreaks and store tyres at that site to reduce the risk of fires.
DES said it was considering further action against Mr Di Carlo for allegedly failing to comply with that court order.
Mr Di Carlo was convicted and fined $200,000 in September last year for a further 65 charges relating to offences against the Environmental Protection Act.
In response to previous fires at the Rocklea site, DES issued an emergency direction, a clean up notice and a cost recovery notice to recover clean-up costs.
But the department said Mr Di Carlo had not paid the amount owing under the cost recovery notice.
Bankruptcy proceedings were also commenced against him to recover that amount, which is next listed before the court this week.
DES has also issued show cause notices to cancel the suitable operator registration for entities related to Mr Di Carlo at the Rocklea site.
Logan City Council said it was aware of public concerns about the tyre storage at the Kingston site.
"But … council has no regulatory enforcement powers to clean up the site or issue penalties," it said.
"On behalf of the community, council previously formally raised concerns about fire and environmental risk with the state government and offered ongoing support and assistance in any enforcement actions by the responsible State agencies
"Council has actively provided support to DES and QFES investigations and will continue to do so as needed."
Mr Di Carlo could not be contacted.
Originally published as Tyre baron dumps whopping clean-up bill on landlord