Illegal dump fined

PUBLISHED: 17:33 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:37 31 May 2010

A RUBBISH dump that was run illegally from a Thaxted Farm and burnt waste, including asbestos, has been fined more than £170,000. Haigh Contracts Ltd based at Amigers Farm broke the law for almost a year, despite warnings from the Environment Agency, heard

A RUBBISH dump that was run illegally from a Thaxted Farm and burnt waste, including asbestos, has been fined more than £170,000.

Haigh Contracts Ltd based at Amigers Farm broke the law for almost a year, despite warnings from the Environment Agency, heard Witham Magistrates' Court last Wednesday.

The company pleaded guilty to a number of waste offences between February and November last year when waste was deposited, kept and burnt without a waste a management licence or an appropriate exemption certificate.

The company was fined £171,000 and ordered to pay £5,965 costs.

Environment Agency officer Tim Poulding said: "This prosecution should send a message to those carrying out waste operations illegally that it is not acceptable to flout the law and put legitimate businesses and the environment at risk.

"We need companies to recycle waste materials but this has to be regulated to prevent harm to people or the environment."

A tipoff from a member of the public in February alerted the Environment Agency to the illegal activities on the farm. An investigation revealed a number of wastes at the site and areas where waste had been burned.

On March 1 a notice was served for the waste, including a mattress, plastic, wire, computer monitors, carpet and a green plastic drum, to be removed.

However, two weeks later most of the waste was still on site and extra waste, including 80 oil filters, some with oil, had been added.

In August and early November there were still skips of waste at the site and on November 15 there were reports to the Environment Agency of asbestos being delivered and buried at the farm. A further investigation discovered there was some evidence of asbestos being burned.

Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting, said that although there was no evidence of actual harm to the environment, there had clearly been an impact on the visual amenity of the countryside.

She added: "There is no suggestion that the activities would have ceased but for the intervention of the prosecution. Haigh Contracts Ltd was aware of the need for a waste management licence for the activities it was involved in.

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