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£32,000 fine for illegal waste transfer station

A Reading skip yard has been ordered to pay more than £32,000 after pleading guilty to six offences including the illegal operation of a waste transfer station.

Reynolds Excavations was fined at Reading Magistrates for keeping, sorting and disposing of waste by burning without a waste management licence, for failing to prevent waste escaping and failing to ensure proper waste transfer notes were completed.

After the Environment Agency (EA) received complaints of smoke coming from the yard, evidence was found of waste that included plastics, paint, engine oil, metals and wood being deposited, stored and sorted.

After further complaints, company secretary Richard Reynolds admitted running a waste transfer site, but said that only timber was burnt there despite evidence to the contrary.

The EA later observed that other waste that included bricks, tiles, wood, ceramics and items of furniture was being burnt.

Investigating officer Steve Clare said: “This case illustrates our commitment to tackling sites that operate illegally without a waste management licence. Action will be taken against those company officers who allow their companies to carry out such activities in the knowledge that a waste management licence is required, particularly where they have previously received advice or warnings.”

The company was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,016, while Reynolds was fined £4,000 for one charge and received five conditional discharges for three years in relation to the other five offences. He was also ordered to pay a further £1,016 in costs.

Clare added: “With the amendments to the duty of care provisions which came into force on 21 November, this case should also serve as a timely reminder to those individuals who are required to produce a waste transfer note that it contains all the information required to comply with the law and not merely pay lip service to its requirements.”

The company’s yard at Wigmore Lane, Reading has now been granted a waste management licence and its future waste activities will be strictly regulated.

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