Waste offences cost supermarket £77,000

A supermarket has been ordered to pay £77,000 for three waste offences, a court heard last week

The small supermarket in the Birmingham suburb of Alum Rock fly-tipped its waste rather than pay for it to be collected legitimately, magistrates found on Thursday.

Saif Supermarket Ltd was found guilty in its absence of three breaches of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, following a prosecution by Birmingham City Council. These were two charges of depositing controlled waste without an environmental permit, contrary to section 33(1)(a), (6) and (8) of the act, and failing to supply written information on how it disposed of waste, contrary to regulation 35 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 and section 34(5) and (6) of the act.

The city magistrates’ court imposed a fine of £75,000, with £1,865 in costs.

The investigation into the shop began in January 2019, following public complaints. Municipal waste collectors also reported that its staff insisted that they threw their business waste into the back of waste lorries, and that street bins were full of fruit and vegetable waste.

Council officers then requested proof of how it disposed of its waste.

The following month, bags of food waste and plastic packing dumped on a nearby road on 11 February. Pricing labels from the shop were found among them. Further waste from the business was found a day later beside a street litter bin.

While being interviewed under caution, the company claimed that it had a waste disposal contract that was not being honoured properly, and that the waste had been put out wrongly by a member of staff.

Cllr John O’Shea, cabinet member for street scene and parks, said: “This prosecution shows how high the risk is when businesses don’t have the right arrangements in place for their waste collection, or when they choose to dump waste on the streets of Birmingham. Make no mistake, this is criminal activity and these people are trying to get an advantage over law-abiding businesses.”

“I would also like to thank and congratulate our waste collection and waste enforcement staff for their efforts. This was not an easy case and they faced some hostility during their enquiries, but their determination has ensured that justice was served,”  he added.

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