Lincolnshire electrical appliance recycling company sued

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After pleading guilty, the court fined Environcom England Limited, of Grantham, for failing to comply with its environmental permit.

The company was ordered to pay £ 35,000 in costs to the Environment Agency. In addition, the company has agreed to pay the Lincolnshire Rivers Trust £ 20,000 for other related matters.

In March 2016, at the height of the breach of its operating conditions, Environcom had approximately 2,900 bags or 3,234 tonnes of fine plastic. Thin plastic is known as polyurethane (PURE) and has been stored on site well in excess of the permitted quantity. The weight was almost 65 times that allowed by the permit.

The Environment Agency has become so concerned with operations at the site, along with the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Director of Health and Safety and local authority partners, that its officers have visited the company 15 times in 4 years.

Yvonne Daly, Environmental Officer for the Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire Environment Agency, said:

Poor management and a lack of emergency planning at Environcom has resulted in a permanent risk of fire and pollution in the premises.

We made numerous site visits in close collaboration with the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Services whom we thank for their support throughout the investigation.

I hope this lawsuit will act to remind Environcom and other waste management companies of their obligations.

The court heard that Environcom operated a recycling plant for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). It treats and stores waste thanks to an environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency, which sets out conditions to be respected to protect the environment. When refrigerators and freezers are recycled, they produce a waste by-product called PURE dust.

PURE is a very thin plastic, which can ignite and presents a potential fire hazard. In addition, fine waste such as PURE is almost impossible to remove if it escapes into the wider environment, causing plastic pollution if not stored properly.

Environcom originally had a company that accepted its PURE waste but they were informed by them that they could no longer do so due to a fire in their premises in April 2015. Despite this, Environcom continued to accept waste on the site and this far exceeded the authorized quantity . This caused a potential fire hazard at the site.

The result is the result of a joint approach between the Environment Agency, the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities.

Environcom England Ltd has pleaded guilty to violating its license in violation of 38 (2) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

The case of Environcom England Ltd of Spittlegate Level, Grantham, was heard in Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Friday July 30 for a fine of £ 100. The company pleaded guilty to an offense at an earlier hearing.


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