CHATTERIS: Vegetable grower fined £8,000 for illegal fire used to dispose of rubbish
A CHATTERIS company has been fined £8,000 for disposing of fly-tipped rubbish by setting fire to it on bonfire weekend.Vegetable growers Albert Bartlett & Sons (Airdrie Ltd) was fined by the Environment Agency after pleading guilty to breaching
A CHATTERIS company has been fined £8,000 for disposing of fly-tipped rubbish by setting fire to it on bonfire weekend.
Vegetable growers Albert Bartlett & Sons (Airdrie Ltd) was fined by the Environment Agency after pleading guilty to breaching the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on land close to its main factory site near the Fenton Lode Drain.
It was also ordered to pay £2,349 Environment Agency costs.
Wisbech Magistrates’ Court was told on Friday that last November’s bonfire was for the community and that some of the items burned were put on the fire by mistake.
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Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting, said the company had disposed of waste in a potentially harmful way and was “careless as to the potential for harm”.
Rubbish burned on the fire included a fridge, cable ducting, metal containers, wire, metal sheeting and pipes, plastics and laminated wood.
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The fire was so large that it covered the size of a tennis court and was still smouldering two and a half days after it was first lit. The fire service attended for about one hour but was not required to take any action.
Brian Hawden, the company’s land manager, said the company had permission from the Environment Agency to burn untreated disused wooden pallets.
“This had been the company’s intention but because the pile was well away from the company’s main site, fly tipped and vandalised waste had unintentionally found its way onto the fire.
“The company had treated the matter seriously and had obtained an expert’s report which had confirmed that the burning had had little or no adverse effect on the environment.”
He added: “This had been accepted by the agency.”
Environment Agency Officer Matthew Lee said: “This fine should send a message to others that we will take action where waste is treated in this haphazard way.”