Company pleads guilty to illegal burning of waste


By Alessandro Brunelli


Caledonian Waste illegally burnt tonnes of waste (Picture by Daniel Hug)

A SCOTS waste management company has pled guilty to the illegal burning of tonnes of waste material.

On Decemer 9th 2010 Caledonian Waste, based in Loanhead, Midlothian, had burnt wood, straw and other material without authorization and was found in breach of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The Waste Management Licence owned by Caledonian Industrial Limited allows the keeping and treatment of household, commercial or industrial waste, but also states that no waste can be burnt on site.

After pleading guilty, the company, which had profited from the burning through the avoidance of Landfill Tax and transportation costs, was fined a sum of £1,650 by the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The burning damaged significantly the local environment and also had an impact on the air local residents breathe.


The case was brought up by three complaints by members of the public, who had notified the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) on the same day of the incident.

SEPA officers successively found five separate fires ablaze on site.

Shona McJannett, Specialist Wildlife and Environmental Prosecutor for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service commented:

“Caledonian Industrial Ltd has been fined for a crime which is of potential financial benefit to them and of potential harm to the local environment and the health of the local community.

“By burning waste on site, waste management companies can gain a financial advantage by avoiding the costs associated with landfill and waste disposal and in this case the local community were affected by smoke and odours from one of the fires.

“COPFS will continue to work closely with SEPA to prosecute environmental offenders and to protect local communities.”