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‘Mattress Mountain’ still being cleared

A massive dump of mattresses in Kent is still being cleared weeks after the Environment Agency (EA) served the site owners with an enforcement notice.

Lewis Bertram, who runs mattress recycling company Eco-Matters on Smarden Business Estate, was told by the EA to remove the “eyesore” by 5 June as it posed a fire risk, BBC News reported.

EA environment officer Kerrie Roche said in an email to Ashford borough councillor Geraldine Dyer that the agency was working with Bertram, Kent Fire and Rescue Services and the Health and Safety Executive to remove excess waste and reduce the fire risk.

Roche said the EA was inspecting the site regularly and was reviewing evidence it had collected to consider what its enforcement response will be.

She wrote: “The operator has re-stated that he is aware of his responsibilities and knows that he faces further enforcement action related to not complying with our notice.

“I appreciate that this is a slow process but we are using all our available enforcement powers to ensure that the site is cleared without reliance on any public funding.”

According to the Roche email, the fire service has also served a prohibition notice to stop employees from sleeping at the site, due to inadequate emergency access routes in the case of a fire.

Parish councillor Brian Bristow said: “Talking to the business neighbours they are pleased with the EA actions and work to achieve clearance so I think things are moving forwards.

“I’ve just been into the estate and seen for myself no change in mountain size.”

Bertram has been contacted for a response.

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