Monday, 21 June 2010

Hanson fined for dumping prohibited waste at Cassington pit

4 years ago today ...

Quarrying company fined

A QUARRYING firm has been fined £8,000 for dumping prohibited waste on land near Cassington.

Hanson Quarry Products Europe is allowed to deposit items such as soil, rock, and construction waste at Cassington pit, in Worton, to restore land, after carrying out sand and gravel excavation.

But Environment Agency officers spotted unauthorised waste, including plastic, ceramics, and metal, dumped among construction waste on two separate occasions at the pit's Cresswell Fields.

At Bicester Magistrates' Court, the firm, which has more than 100 quarry sites across the UK, admitted knowingly causing controlled waste to be deposited on the land without having a waste management licence.

Rooma Horeesorun, prosecuting, said Environment Agency officers noticed a large pile of waste containing metal and plastic at the land during a visit on September 15, 2004.

Less than two weeks later, officers found two further piles of waste containing metal, plastic, rubble, and ceramics.

Mrs Horeesorun said the unauthorised waste had been deposited as part of a deal between Hanson and M&M Skips, which was based on the same site, the previous year. She said Hanson had previous convictions for environmental offences, but none similar to this offence. The illegal dumping had caused minimal contamination to the land.

Hanson said the dumper-truck driver responsible for picking up M&M's waste had been told not to leave the cab for health and safety reasons, so had been unable to see what the machine had been picking up.

However, the firm said the driver should have noticed and removed unauthorised items when the material had been deposited.

The company said it had broken off its agreement with M&M as soon as the problems had come to light, and had immediately removed the unauthorised items.

Magistrate Ann McCornack said Hanson was 'reckless' not to have a system which checked what was among materials being deposited.

The initial sentence was set at a £12,000 fine, reduced to £8,000, because Hanson had pleaded guilty. The firm was also ordered to pay £1,538 legal costs.

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