Waste offences cost 'charcoal business' £16,500

A company and its director that claimed to be a charcoal producer but was burning waste were ordered to pay £16,500 by Amersham magistrates on 6 November after being found guilty of four waste offences.

The Environment Agency investigated Bucks Charcoal & Recycling of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, following calls from members of the public who had seen vehicles loaded with waste entering its premises in Hodgemoor wood near Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, between September 2002 and May this year. Some of the waste was then burned.

During a three-day hearing the company's director, Jack Byne, claimed he was running a legitimate charcoal business and had been told by the district council that he did not need a waste management licence. No such assurance had been given.

The company was fined £1,500 for depositing waste and £2,000 for disposing of waste at an unlicensed site, plus £3,000 costs. Mr Byne was fiend £2,000 and £3,000, respectively, for the same offences, plus £5,000 costs. The charges were brought under sections 33(1)(a) and (b) and 33(6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

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