Recycling company racks up heavy fines

6th July 2018

P11 fire istock 539206839

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Environmental Agencies ,
  • Legislation ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management


Michael Entwistle

Lincolnshire-based recycling company Mid UK Recycling Ltd has been handed a fine of £100,000 following a serious fire at its premises at Barkston Heath, Ancaster, in July 2015.

The large fine comes in addition to an order to pay costs in the region of £50,000, and the company also agreed to pay £230,000 in compensation to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue as a consequence of the blaze.

As a result of the fire, 90 firefighters were called to the scene, and nearby roads were closed due to the large amount of thick smoke. Residents were also advised to stay indoors and shut windows and doors. The blaze burned for nearly a week before finally being deemed extinguished.

The fire broke out spontaneously, destroying a stockpile of waste consisting of carpet, mattresses and plastic bottles. Inspectors had previously found that the stockpile was around several hundred tonnes, piled to nearly 10 metres in height and with no appropriate fire breaks. Mid UK did not remove the waste as requested, and was served an enforcement notice in July 2014, with which it not comply.

The sentencing was passed by Judge John Pini QC. He stated that the company, which has contracts to collect recyclable waste with a range of local authorities, has a “history of not complying with guidance and enforcement notices.”

Judge Pini spoke during the sentencing, saying that “the repeated guidance and the failure to heed it properly, with knowledge of the risks, is to a considerable extent what grounds recklessness as opposed to negligence.”

The owner company of the site, MC Mountain and Sons Ltd, and managing director Mowbray Christopher Mountain, pleaded guilty to five charges of breaching planning and environmental legislation, and failing to comply with an enforcement notice, but no separate penalty was given.

Mountain said that, since the fire, the company had made changes and had a bespoke fire prevention plan from the Environment Agency.

Image credit: iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

A hangover from EU legislation, requirements on the need for consideration of nutrient neutrality for developments on many protected sites in England were nearly removed from the planning system in 2023.

2nd April 2024

Read more

It’s well recognised that the public sector has the opportunity to work towards a national net-zero landscape that goes well beyond improving on its own performance; it can also influence through procurement and can direct through policy.

19th March 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close