A Cornish waste disposal firm has been fined after putting workers and the public at risk over its storage of asbestos.
Leslie Allen, the owner of the waste disposal business, has now been told to pay nearly £80,000 for illegally storing and treating waste including asbestos.
Poor records and storage practices
The site manager at Penzance has also been ordered to pay a total of £6,000 in fines and costs, in a case brought by the Environment Agency.
Mr Allen’s waste operation was illegally processing waste from commercial and domestic sources and was used to store hazardous waste including asbestos without an Environment Agency permit, Truro Crown Court heard.
The defendant had been warned by the Environment Agency about the permit and he had assured officers he would apply for one. The business benefited financially from operating without an environmental permit.
The Environment Agency found that transfer of waste was often not recorded and when it was, the records were either inadequate or misleading.
Officers also recovered asbestos from a pile of waste at the site that had not been bagged or stored in a secure container.
Exposing workers and the public
Judge Carr said the defendants had exposed themselves and others to asbestos.
Sophie Unsworth of the Environment Agency said: “Waste sites must operate within the law and always put human health and the environment above financial gain. This is especially important for sites receiving hazardous waste such as asbestos.
“Despite being given repeated advice and guidance by the Environment Agency, the owner chose to continue to operate illegally, receiving, handling and storing waste, without a permit.”
Mr Allen was fined £40,000 and was ordered to pay £14,200 costs and £25,772 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Site manager, Richard Shore, was fined £4,000 for the same offences and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
Date Published: May 8, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown