Dust nuisance costs recycling firm £71k

18th November 2013


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  • Waste ,
  • Corporate fine ,
  • Prosecution ,
  • Environment agencies

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IEMA

A Swindon waste company has been ordered to pay £71,000 in penalties after dust from its unlicensed site 'blighted' neighbouring businesses

Dust escaping from Averies Recycling’s waste transfer station at the Marshgate Industrial Estate in Swindon settled on cars outside nearby business premises, causing a nuisance and affecting staff and customers’ quality of life, and contributing to one company having to replace air filtration equipment, Bristol Crown Court was told.

The waste firm pleaded guilty to operating a waste transfer station without an environmental permit and to causing a nuisance to neighbouring business. It was fined £11,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 in costs.

Averies has also signed a memorandum of agreement with the Environment Agency, committing to a series of improvement measures at the Marshgate facility and a second site 3.5 miles away in Brindley Close.

Under the agreement, Averies must update its environment management system, and dust management and odour management plans. It has also agreed to construct a building enclosing the waste operations to combat emissions of dust.

In sentencing the firm, Judge Mercer said its failure to conduct business activities properly had a “considerable impact” on the life of the neighbours and may have affected a nearby brook. He also warned that if the problems recur, and the firm is prosecuted again, the penalties would be harsher.

“Waste businesses must ensure that as operators they have a permit and that their activities do not cause nuisance by allowing, in this case, dust to repeatedly escape from their premises thereby risking pollution of the environment as well as disrupting the working lives of surrounding businesses and their employees,” commented Glen Browne, an officer at the Environment Agency.

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