In May 2002, an Environment Agency officer conducted a routine inspection of the site at Tythegston quarry near Porthcawl. The site is run on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council by South Herts Waste Management, but the council leases it from the landowner and licence holder, Davies Brothers (Waste). The contractual arrangements allow Davies Brothers to remedy any problems and recharge South Herts for doing so.
The officer saw a member of the public unloading unbagged asbestos sheets from a van and dumping them in a skip intended for general waste - generating a considerable quantity of airborne dust. A skip specially adapted to receive asbestos was full, but the officer was told that the asbestos would be transferred to the correct skip once it was emptied.
Samples of the material taken the following day showed that it was cement-bonded white asbestos, classified as "special waste".
Davies Brothers was fined £10,000 for depositing special waste other than in accordance with the terms of its waste management licence. It was also fined £1,000 for keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health, and a further £1,000 for breaching a condition of its licence. The charges were brought under sections 33(1), (6) and (9) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.