Grosvenor pleads guilty to Illegally exporting waste

Kent-based Grosvenor Waste Management has pleaded guilty to illegally exporting household waste to Asia.

At Maidstone crown court on 2 February, the company admitted five charges of exporting waste without the correct notification, contrary to sections 12(1) and 15(1) of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulation 1994, and one charge of failing to repatriate waste in compliance with a notice contrary to section 12(9).

It pleaded not guilty to 13 other charges of illegally exporting waste. The Agency proposed that these remain on file.

It admitted exporting more than 1,800 tonnes of household refuse to developing countries between November 2004 and February 2005.

It was sending the waste for recycling and not to be landfilled, the company’s counsel said.

The incident first came to light in April 2005 when the Dutch Ministry for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment announced it had intercepted an illegal shipment of waste from England in previous months on route to China. Some of this came from Grosvenor (ENDS Report 363, pp 16-18 ).

Grosvenor admitted it did not provide correct notification for the waste. Under the TFS Regulation, "amber list" waste can only be exported for recovery if a company pays a fee to the Agency and obtains consent from all of the relevant authorities that the waste will pass through.

Sentencing has been set for 4 April. The maximum penalty for exporting waste illegally is an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

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