A South Devon waste processing company has been ordered to pay £16,404 in fines and costs for failing to remove thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste from two sites in Torbay.
The case was brought by the Environment Agency.
Armabridge Ltd, trading as Skip-It Torbay, operates from a waste transfer station at Barton Hill Way, Torquay. In June 2015 an Environment Agency officer discovered asbestos contamination in a pile of approximately 3,200 tonnes of residual waste at the site. In March 2016, following a lack of progress in dealing with the waste, the Environment Agency served an enforcement notice on the company to formalise the removal of the asbestos-affected material.
The company appealed against the enforcement notice, but the appeal was later dismissed by a planning inspector, who in January 2017 upheld the enforcement notice and gave the company 3 months to comply with its requirements.
In May 2017 an environment officer returned to the site and saw the pile of waste was still present. No significant progress had been made to remove it and as a result the company had breached its enforcement notice.
In January 2016, Armabridge Ltd was prosecuted for illegally depositing approximately 2,000 tonnes of asbestos contaminated waste at a second site, Kerswell Gardens, Torquay. In February 2017, following a lack of progress in clearing the waste, the Environment Agency served an enforcement notice requiring that the waste be removed.
In July 2017 an Environment Agency officer returned to the Kerswell Gardens site and found the hazardous waste was still present and that the enforcement notice had been breached.
Jacob Hess, for the Environment Agency, said:
This case emphasises the importance of robust waste acceptance procedures. Failure to segregate wastes appropriately can lead to complex and costly remediation at a later date.
We have recently run a campaign with local roofing businesses and waste operators to raise awareness of asbestos containing materials and how to correctly dispose of them.
Armabridge Ltd was fined a total of £13,334 and ordered to pay £3,070 costs by Plymouth magistrates after pleading guilty to 2 offences of failing to comply with enforcement notices relating to Barton Hill Way and Kerswell Gardens, Torquay contrary to Regulation 38(3) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. The company has been given until 30 September 2018 to safely dispose of waste from both sites.