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(AUSTRALIA) EPA REPORT: Investigating whether traders have tipped oil down public drains in Adelaide’s Chinatown district #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.10: New pavers that are part of a $4 million redevelopment of Moonta Street have been stained by cooking oil, making them slippery and discoloured.

#AceDailyNews says according to ABC News Report: South Australia’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) investigating possible illegal oil disposal in Adelaide’s Chinatown: The issue was mentioned at the City Council meeting last week……

A large red gate-like entrance to a street with concrete lions either side
The $4 million redevelopment of Moonta Street was completed in October.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Spence Denny)

Staff said nearby businesses had been disposing of their cooking waste in the public drains, with some oil spilling on the way and from empty barrels: However, EPA operations director Andrew Pruzinski said the agency only became involved yesterday.

A gold oil barrel next to a fence on stained pavers
Oil marks the ground near an an oil barrel in Moonta Street.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Troy Sincock)

He said a review of CCTV was underway to see if the oil was being spilt while being taken to drums that are taken away to be disposed of correctly, or if the spillage was deliberate.

“We’re keeping an open mind to try and find out whether this is being spilt onto the pavers while it’s being taken to those drums or to waste transporters, or whether it’s intentional and going into the drains,” he said.

Businesses risk fines of up to $30,000 for illegal oil disposal.

Environment Minister David Speirs said illegal disposal of oil was a common problem.

‘This is a compliance issue that we look at regularly,” he said.

“Not everyone does the right thing.

“We do not want these products going into our stormwater system, which appears to be what’s happening here, so [it is] very disappointing. People need to do the right thing.”

Stained pavers
Oil stains new pavers in Moonta Street in Adelaide’s Chinatown.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Troy Sincock)

Council favours education over fines

Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said fines were not on the cards yet.

“The best approach at this point is to try and educate the traders of their responsibility rather than enforcing penalties straight away,” Ms Verschoor said.

“We’ve been working with the Chinatown Association and we’re trying to get the materials and this information in multiple languages — and language is part of the problem.”

Sandy Verschoor with biodegradable cups.
Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor says education is key to solving the issue.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

The pavers have not yet been sealed.

“We can’t seal at this stage because the oil is there,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The main thing we’re trying to do is get rid of the oil through cleaning methods, reduce the discolouration and then we will see what we can do.”

Moonta Street connects Gouger and Grote streets in Adelaide’s Chinatown, but also includes restaurants and supermarkets from other ethnicities.

It is just west of the Central Market, which is also being transformed, with the Central Market Arcade being demolished and replaced with a new mall.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Nov.10: 2021:

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