Site Serv fined for illegal sludge

Recycling company Site Serv has been fined £19,500 for landspreading offences

Glamorgan-based recycling company Site Serv was fined £19,500 on 14 July, for three landspreading offences in north-west England.

The company appeared before Accrington and Hyndburn magistrates and pleaded guilty to all charges, under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. Costs were £5,865.

Site Serv spreads waste sludge from the paper recycling process. This can improve soil quality, but must be done in accordance with the terms of an environmental permit exemption, to prevent pollution.

The court heard that 400 tonnes of pulp were deposited on a field near Bolton in February 2009. Up to half was deposited without an exemption being in place, contrary to regulations 12 and 38(1).

Site Serv admitted a similar offence in October 2009 when it failed to spread waste according to an exemption on a farm in Preston. Spreading was not permitted within ten metres of field boundaries or watercourses. But Environment Agency officers found waste on a boundary and close to the river Wyre, posing a threat to a biological heritage site. The sludge was also spread on unregistered and unsuitable fields.

The third offence dated back to 2007 when the firm deposited excess waste at Stile Farm in Slaidburn, Lancashire, an area of outstanding beauty. It created  a 4,000t waste stockpile, more than five times the amount permitted by the exemption.

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