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EA could face legal action over export rejection

A major UK waste firm is considering legal action after a shipment of recyclables it was exporting was blocked at a London port, according to leaked documents.

Internal Environment Agency (EA) briefing notes reveal that Grosvenor Waste Management is angry and confused about the paper load rejected at Thamesport.

Filed after the EA visited Grosvenor's Kent site, the report admits that the Government watchdog risks looking unprofessional and inconsistent over the issue.

With the EA dithering over the load, there is concern from the Mayor of London's office that recovered waste across the capital will be sent to landfill.

The report states: "The loads stopped at Thamesport two weeks ago are still there. Under the legislation, the EA can hold material for three days. It is clearly beyond that, and the company asserts that no clear information or guidance has been provided to them."

The report goes on to say that the EA could look unprofessional for not giving information to Grosvenor, and that the delays put any case against the firm at risk.

It adds: "The company is desperate to understand why the loads were stopped. If the material was rejected because it was mixed paper and card, this is inconsistent with our new interim position. The company is saying it may take legal advice."

Grosvenor has stopped taking material from some of the councils it is contracted to while it waits to see whether it has to reprocess the Thamesport loads and change its processes to ensure future shipments are accepted.

The EA report adds: "Western Riverside is about to start sending its collected recycled waste to landfill if it can't send its material to Grosvenor.

"This is one of the main concerns of the Mayor of London's advisor John Duffy. They are concerned about the negative publicity of collected recycled material going to landfill."

Export of waste paper has been in the spotlight recently with debates over whether it is an environmentally sound disposal route.

About 500,000 tonnes of waste paper was sent to China alone last year, and the country introduced a registration system after receiving many shoddy loads.

Grosvenor Waste Management did not return calls made by MRW .

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