Enviro-Waste pays out £34,000 over breach

Specialist waste land spreading business Enviro-Waste Ltd has been ordered to pay more than £34,000 in fines and costs after it was caught polluting water in October 2007.

The company appeared before Bury St Edmunds magistrates on 10 November to plead guilty to causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter, namely liquid waste, to enter controlled waters. It also admitted disposing of controlled waste without the necessary waste management licence.

The offences breached sections 85(1) and (6) of the Water Resources Act 1991 and section 33(1)(b) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Enviro-Waste was fined £7,000 and £10,000 and ordered to pay £17,159 costs.

The water affected was a tributary of the river Dove, at Priory Farm, near Eye in Suffolk. The liquid waste was spread as fertiliser on a field at the farm, but Enviro-Waste spread too much and heavy rain caused it to run off into the stream. It had permission to spread 250 tonnes of liquid waste per hectare per year, but it had spread an estimated 270-285t/ha in just 14 days.

The company also breached its exemption to spread, by using waste from several sources, not all of which were permitted. Waste transfer notes revealed the liquid came from 33 sources, but only 11 were listed in the application for the exemption.

After the hearing, investigating Environment Agency officer, Jamie Fairfull, said: "Enviro-Waste damaged the environment and breached legislation in its actions. We support re-use and recycling of waste but in cases like this... we will not hesitate to take action."

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