Record fine for animal waste factory

9th December 2012


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  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
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  • Food and drink

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Thames Magistrates' Court has ordered tallow-producing company to pay a record £186,000 in penalties for failing to prevent offensive odours escaping its site

An animal rendering plant in Silvertown, Newham, East London, has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £66,150 costs for failing to properly prevent emissions of offensive odours beyond the factory boundary in breach of its environmental permit.

Newham council says the penalty is the biggest fine ever achieved by a local authority for an offence of this nature.

The court was told that during 2011 the council received more than 300 complaints alleging odours from the plant, which is operated by John Knight Limited, part of the Prosper De Mulder group.

The company has operated an animal rendering plant in Silvertown for over 100 years, and the current factory takes waste meat and “renders” it to produce tallow (animal fat) and meat meal (an ingredient of dried pet food).

The court found the company guilty of nine counts of failing to properly prevent the emission of offensive odours.

It is the third time John Knight has been prosecuted. In 2009, it was fined £10,000 with £10,500 costs for failing to store meat in properly controlled conditions. And, last year, the firm was fined £75,000 with £75,000 costs for failing to control the emission of offensive odour from the factory.

Local councillor Unmesh Desai, executive member for crime and antisocial behavior at Newham council, said: “We hope this acts as a strong deterrent. Businesses should not be carried on at the expense of local residents. This is the third time we have taken John Knight to task and that's three times too many in our book. The company needs to get its act together.”

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