£20,000 fine for illegal hazwaste transfer station

A man who ran an unlicensed waste transfer station that dealt with waste oils, chemicals and liquid wastes has been fined £20,000 after pleading guilty to three offences.

In December 2003, an Environment Agency officer inspected a yard in the Nechells area of Birmingham which had originally been used to park vehicles. The yard was leased by Keith Rollins, who ran a waste transfer and treatment business, UK Oils, at a separate licensed yard a short distance away.

The inspected yard contained numerous large containers for liquids, many of them full, and pools of oil were on the ground. The officer also found a sunken pit full of effluent. It was obvious the site was being used to store a variety of oils, chemicals and liquid wastes, and to crush and shred drums, even though it did not have any of the necessary pollution prevention infrastructure.

The officer wrote to Mr Rollins warning him that he was storing and treating waste illegally, he should obtain a licence and all waste should be cleared from the site.

In April 2004, Agency officers inspected the wastes at the site and conducted sample analysis confirming that hazardous wastes were being stored with potential to cause contamination and pollution.

Appearing before Birmingham magistrates on 14 January, Mr Rollins admitted disposing of waste at an unlicensed site, contrary to section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and was fined £10,000.

He was also fined £5,000 for treating, keeping or disposing of waste at an unlicensed site, contrary to section 33(1)(b) and a further £5,000 for treating, keeping or disposing of waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health, contrary to section 33(1)(c). He was also ordered to pay £1,643 costs.

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