The company which is based in Desford, Leicester was handed fines totalling £6,500 and costs of £1,263.35 after an inspection of its site by Environment Agency (EA) officers on 22 September 2005.
Representing the EA, Francoise Snape told Hinckley Magistrates Court that officers found a heavy-duty cardboard skip containing lead acid batteries placed in an area not protected by spillages and exposed to the atmosphere.
Following a hazardous waste audit, EA officers carried out further investigations and found that on 10 March 2005 the company had not followed the correct procedure under the Special Waste Regulations when disposing of these batteries.
It had not checked or recorded that they were being collected by a registered waste carrier and had also failed to check that they were being disposed of, were going to a site permitted to accept batteries and had not consigned the waste in accordance with regulations.
EA officer Ken Sutherland said: Some wastes are harmful to human health or to the environment, either immediately or over an extended period of time.
Caterpillar Logistic Services (UK) had a duty of care to make sure that all of their wastes are being disposed of properly. By not taking the precautionary measures, Caterpillar Logistic Services (UK) put not only their employees, but also the environment in grave danger.
In mitigation, the company said it has now introduced a management system for employees to follow when there is a need to dispose of hazardous items. It is also using a self-bundled container to store lead acid batteries prior to their disposal.
The company is said to have co-operated fully with the EA throughout the investigation and has now employed a waste disposal contractor to remove all hazardous wastes according to the correct procedure.