East Midlands Demolition fined £11,000 for dumping hazard waste
A Derby company has been fined £11,000 for dumping hazard waste.
East Midlands Demolition, of Duffield Road, Little Eaton, had admitted the offence at a previous court hearing.
In addition to the fine, the company was ordered to pay £4,398.92 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.
The charges were brought by the Environment Agency.
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Kiran Cassini told the court that last September the Environment Agency was made aware of noise and dust coming from a site owned by Evans Concrete on Pye Bridge Industrial Estate in Alfreton.
Officers visited the site and saw that the land appeared to have been raised by around one metre.
The MD said tar surfacing had been brought onto the site by East Midlands Demolition to create a hard-standing area for storage on the site.
Environment Agency officers checked waste transfer notes provided by Evans Concrete and found that East Midlands Demolition originally removed the waste from Cavendish Junior School on August 10 and 11, 2010.
The waste was described as ‘tarmac’ and 720 tonnes of it had been imported onto the Evans Concrete Limited site.
The court heard that Derby City Council were resurfacing the playground at Cavendish Junior School and needed to dispose of waste tar surfacing.
Initially one load was taken to a tip by a contractor but was rejected because it failed a test that indicated the presence coal tar.
The presence of coal tar within the tar surfacing meant that it was classed as hazardous waste. It would have cost around £100,000 to legally dispose of the waste through the first contractor so Derby City Council contacted other contractors.
East Midlands Demolition was approached and said it could recycle the coal tar contaminated tar surfacing for around £14,500 and arrangements were made for them to carry out the removal.
Derby City Council arranged for samples of the tar surfacing to be tested by a specialist firm. The samples confirmed the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons within the waste that meant it was classed as hazardous.
By the time the sample analysis had been published, East Midlands Demolition had already removed the waste. However, East Midlands Demolition had previously been made aware that the tar surfacing was contaminated with coal tar and was hazardous.
The waste was subsequently treated by specialist contractors, funded by East Midlands Demolition Limited and Derby City Council.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “East Midlands Demolition should have known that the waste they were recycling was classed as hazardous. Their actions meant that another company, in this case Evans Concrete Limited, also fell foul of environmental legislation.”
In mitigation, the court was told that the company did not appreciate that the presence of coal tar meant that the tarmac was hazardous. The price that they quoted was for the removal of ordinary tar surfacing.
The company had since changed working practices to ensure that thorough checks were made before quotes for removal were given.
The court heard that the company had acted recklessly and that their actions had initially been prompted by financial motives. However, the court acknowledged that the company had incurred a greater sum in putting matters right. The court took into account the company’s previous good record, their co-operation with the Environment Agency and their early guilty plea.