Business fined for illegal waste

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FINES totalling £24,000 have been handed out after a waste firm and a director illegally stored waste.

Michael Joseph Almond, 72, who was a director of waste firm Baxketh, stored and burned waste on a site without a permit between September 2010 and January 30 last year, say environmental chiefs.

Both Almond and the business were prosecuted by the Environment Agency at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how Environment Agency officers visited land at Mainsforth Terrace in January last year and found empty waste containers, mixed household and commercial waste, and waste that had been burned.

It did not have a permit for storage and fire officers confirmed they had attended fires at the site.

The court heard how Almond, who was a director of the firm in Burn Road, wanted an environmental permit to keep and treat inert waste at Mainsforth Terrace.

The agency said Almond, of Burn Road, Hartlepool accepted he owned the site, but claimed that some parts of the site were not in his ownership.

He added he did not visit the site often and did not know about the burning.

Almond also said that the site had planning permission for a waste recycling facility.

Both Almond and the company were each fined £12,000 and ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £1,616 by the court.

It was after he pleaded guilty to two counts that Baxketh operated a waste storage treatment and incineration operation on land off Mainsforth Terrace, other than in accordance with an environmental permit and while no environmental permit was in force.

Graeme Hull, from the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased with this result and it should serve as a warning to other potential offenders that both the Environment Agency and the courts will pursue anyone who fails to take their environmental responsibilities seriously.”