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Former postal worker fined £370,000 for waste offences

An ex-postal worker faces huge fines of £370,000 after being convicted of a string of waste offences.

The former owner and postmistress of Cog Lane sub-post office in Burnley, Kauser Waquar was found guilty in her absence of 11 offences relating to deposit of waste from the premises.

Bury Magistrates heard how she had caused or permitted her business waste to be deposited illegally at Queen Street, Bury on May 19 2005 and then illegally at the Tesco recycling station, Prestwich last May, June and July.

While the post office closed earlier this year, Waquar, 46, of Tranmere Road, Heywood, was said to be too busy running the newsagents which now operates in its place to attend the trial.

However, the court took a dim view of this. As well as fines of up to £370,000 or up to 12 months imprisonment, she will also be hit with the prosecution costs and further criminal charges for failing to answer bail.

Burnley Council principal environmental health officer Joyce Walkden said: “Burnley Council operates a zero tolerance approach towards this type of activity and we would warn any business not to be tempted to fly tip under any circumstances.

“All businesses in the borough are issued with literature by us when they receive their business rate bills, warning them of the duty of care in relation to waste disposal. It is their responsibility to ensure that their waste is disposed of legally and that any waste carrier they use is properly licensed. Any other course of action will result in prosecution by us every time.”

Waquar turned herself in to police after a warrant was issued for her arrest when she failed to turn up in court.

Burnley Clean Team committee member Peter Tarren said: “I have never heard of anyone being fined so much, but this woman deserves everything she gets.”

While the Environment Agency and local authorities continue to come down hard on fly-tippers and ‘waste criminals’, the level of fine represents an unprecedented level for an individual.

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