Teamwork improves waste sites

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HARTLEPOOL Mayor Stuart Drummond says efforts to monitor the running of waste sites in town are bringing good results.

A number of agencies are working together to keep a close eye on tips and recycling firms through Hartlepool Waste Management Group.

The group is supported by Hartlepool Borough Council, the Environment Agency, Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade.

It meets monthly to share information, discuss any issues arising from the sites and to spearhead any action that is needed.

Mayor Drummond, who is chairman of the group, said: “I am really pleased with the way all four organisations are working closely together in monitoring activity at waste sites in Hartlepool.

“As well as meeting on a monthly basis, the organisations carry out regular inspections at all waste sites within the borough to ensure that they are complying with all the relevant legislation including planning permission, environmental permits and fire safety laws.

“I think the proprietors of all waste sites in Hartlepool fully understand the high standards we expect and are now working with us to achieve this.”

Last month, two Hartlepool waste businesses were fined thousands of pounds after being convicted of illegally storing waste in prosecutions led by the Environment Agency.

Baxketh, of Burn Road, Hartlepool, admitted operating a waste facility without the correct permit at a site in Mainsforth Terrace.

The firm was fined £12,000 plus £1,616 costs.

And JBM Environmental was found guilty of operating a waste facility without the correct permit.

It was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £2,625 costs.

Graeme Hull, of the Environment Agency, said: “Its been great working together with the waste management group because we’ve been able to make significant improvements to how waste is being managed in and around Hartlepool which has helped to better protect people and the environment from poor or illegal practices.”

The council says the joint working has seen a big drop in the number of fires at waste sites.

Hartlepool council also negotiated a deal to buy the former Easy Skips site in Thomlinson Road before selling it to waste management firm J & B Recycling.

Work is still ongoing to tidy up the other former Easy Skips site, in Casebourne Road, that had also been used to store waste illegally prior to the company directors being taken to court.