Skip hire company fined for illegally burning waste

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The company was fined following a trial

A SKIP hire company has been fined £1,000 at Edinburgh Sheriff court for burning waste on their site.

Watson Skip Hire Limited, from the Easthouses Industrial Estate, Mayfield, Midlothian, was found guilty by Sheriff Kenneth Maciver, following a trial, of failing to comply with a condition of their waste management licence which stated that “no waste shall be burned within the boundaries of the site”.

A complaint was initially received by SEPA on 22 December 2010 regarding the burning of waste at the company’s site at Easthouses Industrial Estate. SEPA officers investigated and found that a volume of mixed waste on an area of open ground within the site was well ablaze. The burning waste was a mixture of wood, plastic, vegetation and other general domestic waste. A considerable plume of smoke emitting from the fire was both visible and odorous.

Sheriff Maciver indicated, in his determination of the facts heard during the trial, that the fire was very big and consisted of waste that should not be burned. The person responsible for the workforce on site on the date in question gave an instruction to staff which was not followed up by him or checked upon. This resulted in staff lighting a huge bonfire which was ablaze for about an hour before SEPA staff arrived on site. Sheriff Maciver felt that the person in charge of the workforce had failed to control them.

Keith Alison, SEPA’s reporting officer, said: “Due to the potential to cause environmental harm or endanger human health there is a standard condition within Waste Management Licences issued by SEPA that prohibits burning waste. Local communities can be negatively impacted by the consequences of emissions from burning waste, including unpleasant, irritating odours, thick smoke and deposits of ash. The location of Watson Skip Hire Limited operational site is adjacent to residential properties, a school and public highways, the users of which could suffer from the effects of this type of irresponsible behaviour.”

1 COMMENT

  1. This is not good for the environment at all. I like to do a background check on Skip hire companies before I use them to make sure they do not do things of this nature, and dispose of waste responsibly. Thank god there were no serious consequences.

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