Skip hire firms fined for burning waste in blazes

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TWO waste management companies have been fined £10,000 each for repeatedly burning waste – breaching an environmental permit.

Grantscope Ltd and RG Wastecare Ltd, which both ran skip hire services sorting mixed waste at the same premises in Barnsley, appeared before Barnsley magistrates. Environment Agency officers said they saw several skips full of waste alight and booming explosions generating smoke, in the Boulder Bridge Lane area of Cudworth last March when investigating complaints from residents.

Three more fires were witnessed in the following weeks and a vehicle seen at the site was traced to John Clifford, an employee at RG Wastecare.

In later surveillance with police in April the same vehicle was seen entering the site at midnight before a fire started and Clifford was arrested.

In interview he admitted starting the fire but claimed he was acting on the orders of Dean Ryder, a director of both Grantscope and RG Wastecare.

Grantscope Ltd has an environmental permit covering land at Boulder Bridge Lane.

But Craig Burman, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court the permit prohibits burning of any sort.

Clifford, of Lewis Road, Lundwood, was fined £200.

Ryder, of Doncaster Road, Barnsley, was fined £5,000.

Both men, as well as the companies, were ordered to pay costs totalling £15,076 to the Environment Agency.

Speaking after the case, Environment Agency officer Brad Haystead said: “Boulder Bridge continues to be a high priority area for the Environment Agency.

“Our officers spend a lot of time and effort working with operators and partners to improve the environment and minimise impact on the local community but in cases like this, where there is deliberate serious offending, we’ll use our enforcement powers to take action.”