Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd prosecuted for dust escaping from its site and for operating without environmental permit
A Swindon recycling company and one of its officers have been ordered to pay £73,000 in fines and costs after dust generated from its site was allowed to escape from into the local atmosphere.
Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd, based at Marshgate Industrial Estate, was also found to be operating without an environmental permit.
The firm pleaded guilty to causing a nuisance to neighbouring businesses with dust generated from their waste operations at Bristol Crown Court on 13 November 2013.
In addition, the company pleaded guilty to operating a waste transfer station without an environmental permit. The company was fined a total of £11,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,000.
Lee Averies, 44, an officer of the firm, also pleaded guilty to causing the company to commit the dust offence by neglecting to ensure appropriate measures were in place or followed to control dust from escaping the Marshgate site. He was fined £2,000.
According to the Environment Agency, which brought the prosecution: ‘The Court heard that dust escaping from the site blighted neighbouring businesses, their staff and customers by settling on their vehicles and affecting the quality of their working life and in the case of one company, contributed to the replacement of air filtering equipment.
‘Some of the businesses including car repair companies were forced to frequently wash the dust off customers’ cars.’
As part of the Court proceedings the company has agreed to implement a raft of measures at both the Marshgate site and their Brindley Close site, which includes: a variation of their environmental permits with updated Environmental Management Systems, Dust Management Plans and an Odour Management Plan.
In addition, the company will construct a building to enclose the waste operations for which they already have planning permission. The Agency said measures should result in both sites operating in compliance with their environmental obligations.
His Honour Judge Mercer in his sentencing remarks said that the failure to conduct their business activities properly affected their neighbours by the dust having a considerable impact on the life of the neighbours and potentially the brook nearby.
Glen Browne, an environment officer at the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased the court has taken this action. 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.
“We always try to work with waste companies to help them meet the requirements of their conditions. However, where companies fail to respond, we will take firm enforcement action. Waste service company directors should be aware of the correct way to run their business to ensure they are not harming the environment or breaking the law. Anyone in any doubt as to their responsibilities should contact us immediately for further guidance.â€?
When contacted by airqualitynews.com, Averies Recycling Ltd was not available for comment.