Victoria's environment watchdog has handed out warnings to more than a third of waste plants they audited for stockpiling high-risk material.
A dedicated task force to tackle the issue completed 292 inspections in the 2018-2019 financial year and issued 109 notices, the Environment Protection Authority annual report showed.
"Throughout the year, EPA took strong regulatory action against resource recovery facilities that were stockpiling materials," chief executive Dr Cathy Wilkinson said.
The watchdog also handed out 24 sanctions across 164 facilities, she said.
A stockpile of more than 5300 tonnes of tyres at West Numurkah, near the NSW border, was removed by the authority.
"The removal of this stockpile eliminated the significant fire risk at this site for the local community," Dr Wilkinson said in the report.
But the agency was also keeping a close eye on warehousing illegal stockpiles of hazardous chemicals.
"The scale of deliberate waste crime uncovered reinforces the need for EPA to become a stronger law enforcement agency with improved intelligence and data analytics capability, modern digital systems and more effective compliance and enforcement," Dr Wilkinson said.
The report shows the watchdog had also increased inspections of licensed facilities and of unlicensed premises, finding more dangerous chemical stockpiles, shifted to electronic waste transport certificates and established better intelligence sharing.
The massive audit was sparked by a series of fires at illegal warehouses and licensed recycling plants.
Firefighters were again called to one of those recycling plants on Friday.
The Coolaroo property of the defunct SKM processor had been the scene of previous industrial fires.
Crews were called to the Maffra Street property around 8.30am and found smoke coming from a waste pile about two metres by three metres.
Firefighters brought the incident under control within 30 minutes, a Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokeswoman said.
Australian Associated Press