Firm fined £8,000 for illegally burning waste

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A SKIP hire firm has been fined £8,000 after illegally dumping and burning hazardous rubbish at a Peak District farm.

A to Z Skip Hire and Recycling admitted collecting around 200 tonnes of waste at Highfields Farm, Stoney Middleton, near Bakewell, including building rubble, furniture, carpets, underlay, paint and plastics, classed as controlled materials due to potential impact on the environment.

The firm pleaded guilty at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court to operating a waste transfer facility without proper permission, burning and depositing controlled waste and failing to provide written descriptions of controlled waste imports.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Following a number of complaints made to the Environment Agency, surveillance was carried out at Highfields Farm from July to September 2010.

“On seven occasions, officers witnessed unauthorised waste activities including the importation and sorting of mixed wastes; the storing of demolition and construction waste in excess of 100 tonnes; and the burning of waste in a open pit.

“A to Z Skip Hire and Recycling were operating under a number of registered exemptions but it was clear to officers that the activities taking place at Highfields Farm were far outside the limits of those exemptions.”

The company must also pay £6,000 costs plus a £15 surcharge.

The Environment Agency spokesman added: “Illegal waste disposal activities threaten the environment and human health.

“I hope this sentence will act as a deterrent to others who may consider disposing of waste illegally.”