The Environment Protection Authority is investigating the alleged illegal disposal of hundreds of tonnes of scrap metal shredding by-products at multiple sites in the Devonport, Burnie and Launceston municipalities.
The EPA says the waste suspected to be a by-product of scrap metal shredding and further processing and contains shredded plastics, foam, rubber, fabrics, wood fibres, soil, metals, hydrocarbons and other chemicals.
The authority says the dumped waste material has been misrepresented as inert waste, general waste or a type of ‘fill’.
It says sites alleged to have received the waste include private landfills, a municipal landfill and a privately owned paddock.
Chemical analysis shows that it contains cadmium, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, hydrocarbons, poly-chlorinated bi-phenyls and other contaminants.
The EPA says the only safe disposal option for this type of waste in Tasmania is the Copping C-Cell waste disposal facility in southern Tasmania.
The authority is contacting councils, private landfill operators and landowners about the potential environmental and human health risks associated with the waste and to ascertain whether additional sites have received it or been asked to receive it.
The EPA says anyone information on suspected illegal waste disposal should be reported to its incident response hotline on 1800 005 171.