£9,000 fine for exporting CFC waste

A metal recycler has been fined £9,000 for trying to export shredded refrigerator waste, including CFCs, to China.

Appearing before Maidstone crown court on 3 May, the Remet Company, based in Tower Hamlets, London, pleaded guilty to shipping waste contrary to section 12(1) of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994.

Under the regulations, it is illegal to export hazardous wastes including CFCs to non-OECD countries.

The Environment Agency was called to Thamesport in Kent in January 2005 by customs officers who were suspicious about the contents of a 40-foot container.

It was labelled as containing mixed scrap metal for recycling in China, but when opened it smelt of solvents. It was found to contain over 10 tonnes of shredded refrigerator waste, including insulation foam.

In court, Remet said it was the first time it had handled such material and admitted it should have had procedures in place to check that the waste was suitable for export.

The company was made to pay £16,017 costs on top of the £9,000 fine.

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