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Merseyside fridge recycler fined

By John McKenna

The illegal storage of waste fridges and freezers has cost a recycling company and its director £13,500 in fines and costs.

Global Environmental Recycling Company of Campbeltown Road, Birkenhead, was found guilty at Wirral Magistrates Court last Friday of two charges relating to the deposit and storage of controlled waste without a waste-management licence.

Director Robert Shepherd, trading as RJS International, was found guilty of three charges relating to illegal storage of controlled waste and failing to comply with a notice dated July 8 2003 informing him that he was in breach of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act.

This was the result of a site visit by Environment Agency (EA) officers that uncovered, among other things, several thousand small domestic appliances stacked six feet high.

The court was told that when interviewed on August 7 2003, Shepherd said the unit at Maritime Business Park had been leased to store re-useable appliances.

He admitted that waste appliances were stored at the Global site, and that RJS International was responsible for transporting and depositing them.

This was due to the company being sub-contracted to handle the areas waste fridges by Mersey Waste Holdings, the company that is responsible for all of Merseysides waste through a £40 million contract with Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority.

However, an authority spokesman said: Theres no way of knowing whether the fridges were from Merseyside as Global has so many contracts.

As the Director of Global Environmental Recycling, Shepherd was aware of the need for a waste-management licence and already held one for a different unit at the business park.

Shepherd said his business moved fridges from the licensed unit to the unlicensed site as a temporary measure.

The court also heard that on December 19 2003 the unit was inspected again and there was still a substantial amount of waste on site.

The disputed site, registered under Global Environmental Recycling Company, is now in possession of a waste-management licence and the EA is satisfied that it is operating legally.

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