Firms warned to check up on waste contractors
- Business & Industry ,
- Waste ,
- Procurement ,
- Supply chain ,
- Pollution & Waste Management
Businesses have been urged to audit waste contractors' paperwork, after the prosecution of "asbestos specialists" who issued faked transfer notes and dumped the hazardous waste
During March and April 2009, Essex-based waste firm A1 Bins and Waste illegally stored 72 skips of asbestos waste at a business park in Benfleet, while issuing fake invoices and consignment notes stating that the waste had been delivered to an Oxfordshire landfill site.
At a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, the firm's director David John Tuffen and manager Nigel Lee Hickman pleaded guilty to 14 offences under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and asked for a further 15 offences to be considered.
The pair were ordered to pay more than £80,000 in penalties, including £3,000 each in fines and a total of £13,841 in compensation to the landowners who cleaned up the sites where the firm's subcontractor had fly-tipped the hazardous waste.
The Environment Agency's environmental crime team leader Lesley Robertson said that the pair had preyed on unsuspecting clients by setting themselves up as "specialist contractors" for the disposal of asbestos waste. Robertson urged organisations to examine their waste operators.
"This case should be a warning to legitimate businesses to ensure that they fulfill their duty of care when employing a business or person to dispose of their waste, including auditing any paperwork that they should receive for the disposal of the waste - don't be afraid to ask the necessary questions," she added.
Under UK law, a duty of care applies to every organisation involved in handling waste, from the producer to the person who finally disposes of/or recovers it. Organisations must complete a waste transfer note for every load of waste moved from one party to another, which includes details of the type and quantity of waste being moved, as well as the details of both parties.
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